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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #850 on: February 01, 2017, 09:42:20 AM »

Trump’s Iran Notice
Tehran tests the new President with another ballistic missile launch.
0:00 / 0:00
Opinion Journal Video: Foundation for Defense of Democracies Senior Iran Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu on Tehran’s latest provocation. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images.
Jan. 31, 2017 7:30 p.m. ET
77 COMMENTS

One early test for the Trump Administration will be how it enforces the nuclear deal with Iran, and that question has become more urgent with Iran’s test last weekend of another ballistic missile.

The test of a medium-range, home-grown Khorramshahr missile is Tehran’s twelfth since it signed the nuclear deal with the U.S. and its diplomatic partners in 2015. John Kerry, then Secretary of State, insisted that the deal barred Iran from developing or testing ballistic missiles. But that turned out to be a self-deception at best, as the U.N. Security Council resolution merely “called upon” Iran not to conduct such missile tests, rather than barring them.

Iran has little reason to stop such tests because the penalties for doing them have been so light. The Obama Administration responded with weak sanctions on a few Iranian entities and individuals, even as it insisted that Iran is complying with the overall deal and deserves more sanctions relief. In December Boeing signed a $16 billion deal to sell 80 passenger planes to Iran, never mind that the regime uses its airliners to ferry troops and materiel to proxies in Syria.

President Trump has offered contradictory opinions about that sale, but he has been unequivocal in his opposition to what he calls the “disastrous” Iran deal. In a call Sunday with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, the President pledged to enforce the Iran deal “rigorously,” and on Monday the Administration requested an emergency Security Council meeting to discuss the latest test.

That meeting probably won’t yield much, thanks to the usual Russian obstruction, but it will put a spotlight on the willingness of allies such as Britain to do more to uphold an agreement the enforcement mechanisms of which they were once eager to trumpet. Whatever happened to the “snapback economic sanctions” that were supposed to be the West’s insurance policy against Iran’s cheating?

The Administration could also warn Iran that the Treasury Department will bar global banks from conducting dollar transactions with their Iranian counterparts in the event of another test, and that it will rigorously enforce “know your customer” rules for foreign companies doing business with counterparts in the Islamic Republic, many of which are fronts for the Revolutionary Guards.

The U.S. needs to provide allies with military reassurance against the Iranian threat. Supplying Israel with additional funds to develop its sophisticated Arrow III anti-ballistic missile system would send the right message, as would an offer to Saudi Arabia to sell Lockheed Martin’s high-altitude Thaad ABM system. The State Department and Pentagon will have to explore diplomatic and military options in case the deal unravels.

What the Administration can’t afford is to allow the latest test to pass without a response. That would tell Iranians they can develop missiles and threaten neighbors with impunity. Mr. Trump is keen to show he will honor his campaign promises, and charting a tougher course against Iran is one of them.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #851 on: March 26, 2017, 03:23:07 PM »

If true  shocked cheesy cheesy

http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a25779/iran-complains-russia-sold-out-its-air-defenses-to-israel/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #852 on: April 01, 2017, 10:28:12 AM »

http://www.thetower.org/4707-iran-sentences-american-citizen-wife-to-death-for-holding-mixed-parties-with-alcohol/

and one more:

http://www.dailywire.com/news/14966/iran-sentences-21-year-old-death-after-insulting-michael-qazvini?utm_source=WilandNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=040117-news-title
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G M
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« Reply #853 on: April 01, 2017, 11:39:59 AM »


It appears Iran does not have "Coexist" bumperstickers.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #854 on: April 15, 2017, 08:22:20 PM »


By Michael Oren
April 14, 2017 6:53 p.m. ET
66 COMMENTS

The U.S. has signed agreements with three rogue regimes strictly limiting their unconventional military capacities. Two of those regimes—Syria and North Korea—brazenly violated the agreements, provoking game-changing responses from President Trump. But the third agreement—with Iran—is so inherently flawed that Tehran doesn’t even have to break it. Honoring it will be enough to endanger millions of lives.

The framework agreements with North Korea and Syria, concluded respectively in 1994 and 2013, were similar in many ways. Both recognized that the regimes already possessed weapons of mass destruction or at least the means to produce them. Both assumed that the regimes would surrender their arsenals under an international treaty and open their facilities to inspectors. And both believed that these repressive states, if properly engaged, could be brought into the community of nations.

All those assumptions were wrong. After withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Pyongyang tested five atomic weapons and developed intercontinental missiles capable of carrying them. Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, less than a year after signing the framework, reverted to gassing his own people. Bolstered by the inaction of the U.S. and backed by other powers, North Korea and Syria broke their commitments with impunity.


Or so it seemed. By ordering a Tomahawk missile attack on a Syrian air base, and a U.S. Navy strike force to patrol near North Korea’s coast, the Trump administration has upheld the frameworks and placed their violators on notice. This reassertion of power is welcomed by all of America’s allies, Israel among them. But for us, the most dangerous agreement of all is the one that may never need military enforcement. For us, the existential threat looms in a decade, when the agreement with Iran expires.

Like the frameworks with North Korea and Syria, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of 2015 assumed that Iran would fulfill its obligations and open its facilities to inspectors. The JCPOA assumed that Iran would moderate its behavior and join the international community. Yet unlike its North Korean and Syrian allies, Iran was the largest state sponsor of terror and openly vowed to destroy another state—Israel. Unlike them, Iran systematically lied about its unconventional weapons program for 30 years. And unlike Damascus and Pyongyang, which are permanently barred from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, Tehran can look forward to building them swiftly and legitimately in the late 2020s, once the JCPOA expires.

This, for Israel and our neighboring Sunni states, is the appalling flaw of the JCPOA. The regime most committed to our destruction has been granted a free pass to develop military nuclear capabilities. Iran could follow the Syrian and North Korean examples and cheat. Or, while enjoying hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it can adhere to the agreement and deactivate parts of its nuclear facilities rather than dismantle them. It can develop new technologies for producing atomic bombs while testing intercontinental ballistic missiles. It can continue massacring Syrians, Iraqis and Yemenis, and bankrolling Hamas and Hezbollah. The JCPOA enables Iran to do all that merely by complying.

A nuclear-armed Iran would be as dangerous as “50 North Koreas,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.N. in 2013, and Iran is certainly many times more dangerous than Syria. Yet Iran alone has been granted immunity for butchering civilians and threatening genocide. Iran alone has been guaranteed a future nuclear capability. And the Iranian regime—which brutally crushed a popular uprising in 2009—has amassed a million-man force to suppress any future opposition. Rather than moderating, the current regime promises to be more radical yet in another 10 years.

How can the U.S. and its allies pre-empt catastrophe? Many steps are possible, but they begin with penalizing Iran for the conventions it already violates, such as U.N. restrictions on missile development. The remaining American sanctions on Iran must stay staunchly in place and Congress must pass further punitive legislation. Above all, a strong link must be established between the JCPOA and Iran’s support for terror, its pledges to annihilate Israel and overthrow pro-American Arab governments, and its complicity in massacres. As long as the ayatollahs oppress their own population and export their tyranny abroad, no restrictions on their nuclear program can ever be allowed to expire.

In responding forcibly to North Korean and Syrian outrages, President Trump has made a major step toward restoring America’s deterrence power. His determination to redress the flaws in the JCPOA and to stand up to Iran will greatly accelerate that process. The U.S., Israel and the world will all be safer.

Mr. Oren is Israel’s deputy minister for diplomacy and a Knesset member for the Kulanu Party.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #855 on: April 24, 2017, 06:26:01 AM »

The safest, most effective way to scuttle the plans of today's would be destroyers of the Jews -- the evil nuclear bomb builders and terror supporters in Iran -- is to support their domestic opposition.

I have received multiple reports over the past 24 hours that there are anti-regime demonstrations taking place in every major city in Iran.

Look at the young student in the clip below and you see what the face of courage looks like. The men standing next to him, pacing angrily back and forth as he speaks are a less than subtle indication that this student has already been carted off, jailed and tortured for his heroic remarks.

Millions of Iranians oppose the regime and have openly demonstrated against it in recent years. They have repeatedly, desperately turned to the West -- even to Israel -- for help in their bid to overturn the regime that will, if left in place, bring about a global cataclysm the likes of which humanity has never seen.

Under Obama, the US sided with the regime. Israel saw its anti-regime efforts leaked to the New York Times by Obama officials.

Now is the time for the US to work with Israel to right Obama's wrongs. Now is the time to stand with the Iranians who willingly risk -- and often sacrifice -- their lives to bring down their evil regime.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esvAwA75IJ0
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #856 on: April 24, 2017, 08:47:24 PM »

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/24/obama-iran-nuclear-deal-prisoner-release-236966
 
Obama’s hidden Iran deal giveaway
www.politico.com
By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials — and undermined its own counterproliferation task forces.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4440812/Obama-dropped-charges-against-arms-smugglers-Iran-deal.html
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ccp
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« Reply #857 on: May 12, 2017, 02:25:53 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/intel-report-iran-refining-nuke-delivery-system-flagrant-violation-ban/

ps: that means surprise in Persian.


what say you BROCK/KERRY?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 12:50:49 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #858 on: May 12, 2017, 09:38:22 PM »


Exactly as planned.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #859 on: June 16, 2017, 12:09:50 PM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/iran-laser-spotlight-us-navy-bataan-2017-6?utm_content=bufferb0266&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer-bi
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #860 on: June 27, 2017, 11:14:17 AM »

Looks like we have another lurker on the forum grin

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/238409/north-korea-and-iran-weapons-of-mass-destruction?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=02ea17d165-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-02ea17d165-207194629
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #861 on: June 29, 2017, 06:43:04 PM »

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/239003/parsi-niac-advance-irans-agenda?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=a629f36eb7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_29&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-a629f36eb7-207194629
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #862 on: July 01, 2017, 01:53:13 PM »



http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/239468/jay-solomon-farhad-azima-iran?utm_source=tabletmagazinelist&utm_campaign=47088d0fdf-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_30&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c308bf8edb-47088d0fdf-207194629
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #863 on: July 25, 2017, 12:35:11 PM »

A U.S. Navy patrol boat in the northern Persian Gulf fired warning shots at an armed Iranian ship July 24, according to two U.S. officials. The Iranian craft was likely operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which released a statement saying that a U.S. boat approached an Iranian patrol craft this morning.

According to the U.S. statement, the Iranian boat approached the USS Thunderbolt, coming within 137 meters (150 yards). The Iranians ignored several warnings from the American boat, including via radio. The Thunderbolt then fired several warning shots into the water, after which the Iranian boat backed away, though it remained in the area for several hours. The USS Thunderbolt is a 55-meter (179-foot) Cyclone-class patrol ship armed with two 25mm Mk-38 machine guns, two .50 caliber machine guns and two automatic grenade launchers.

Naval incidents with Iran are not entirely unusual, though ones involving shots fired are. There have been several incidents between the United States and Iran in recent months, including one in June that involved an Iranian boat training a laser on a U.S. helicopter above the Strait of Hormuz.

Tension is increasing not only between the United States and Iran, but also between Iran and U.S.-aligned countries in the Gulf, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have been involved in three incidents with Iran since April.
==============================================

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #864 on: July 27, 2017, 11:34:05 PM »

Stratfor Worldview
worldviewer35811493132323



    Written by Stratfor’s senior analysts, columns put our weekly reports into the proper context.

 
snapshots

Jul 27, 2017 | 18:11 GMT
Iran: Looking for the Nuclear Deal's Half-Life
The United States is looking for a way to use the nuclear deal to increase access to Iran's military sites.
(Stratfor)
Connections

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For the United States, the art of the deal on Iran's nuclear program seems to be in putting more pressure on the Middle Eastern country. The White House is pushing for further inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in an effort to find ways in which Tehran may not be complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on its nuclear program. Specifically, the United States will try to persuade Iran to permit inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) into military sites that U.S. intelligence suggests may be used for research and development that violates the stipulations of the agreement.

Under the JCPOA, the IAEA is allowed routine access to facilities related to Iran's nuclear program. But if the organization has reason to believe the country is conducting nuclear-related activities at another location — including military sites — it can request information and access to inspect those sites. If Iran denies those requests, it has 14 days to resolve the dispute with the IAEA. Afterward, the issue can be brought to the JCPOA's dispute resolution mechanism, the Joint Commission, which has seven days to issue a ruling. The Joint Commission comprises eight parties: China, the European Union, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Decisions by the Joint Commission must then be approved by a simple majority of its members. This means the United States could force Iran to open up sites to inspection with the support of its European allies alone. Should it do so, Iran would have three days to comply with the Joint Commission's ruling before sanctions against it are automatically put back into place.

The United States had already floated the idea of requesting access to Iranian military sites to its European partners during a regular meeting of the Joint Commission on July 21. But it encountered opposition from countries that said they needed ironclad proof of Iran's activities before giving their consent. The United States' probable goal is to ask for access to an array of facilities and try to convince Europe to support its request. And should Iran deny access to even one of the sites, the United States could then claim Tehran is not holding up its end of the bargain.

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

Iran officially opened its new Imam Khomeini National Space Center with a bang, according to state media reports on July 27, by successfully launching its two-stage Simorgh rocket into space. Though Iranian state television showed footage of the rocket's liftoff, neither it nor other Iranian media offered details of the mission profile or of the Simorgh's payload. Iran previously has put several small satellites into orbit using a different rocket, but the Simorgh is designed to carry a satellite weighing up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) into an orbit 500 kilometers (310 miles) high. Whether the launch was a suborbital test of one or both of the Simorgh's stages, and what payload, if any, the rocket might have been carrying, awaits confirmation.

The launch had been in the works since at least late January, when Iran scrubbed a launch of the Simorgh for an unspecified reason. The July 27 launch is the second time that the Simorgh has flown and will add to tensions between the United States and Iran. The United States has long been concerned about the Simorgh and Iran's space program, which has ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Though its official purpose is to launch satellites, the space program allows the Iranians to gain experience in dual technologies that could be used to develop long-range ballistic missiles, and the Simorgh potentially could lead toward the production of an Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile.

Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile in late January, less than two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump's inauguration. The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Iran in response. The U.S. pressure and criticism may have prompted Iran to cancel the Simorgh's January launch amid suggestions that the Iranians were trying to reduce tensions around their missile program during Trump's first months in office and in the months leading up to Iran's presidential election in May. While Trump has been sharply critical of Iran's missile tests, his administration nonetheless certified to the U.S. Congress this month that Iran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, the provisions of which do not prohibit Iran's missile tests outright.

Clearly, the Trump administration would like to put additional pressure on Iran. With the latest launch of the Simorgh, Iran might be showing a greater willingness to test the Trump administration's resolve now that the Iranian presidential elections are over and the IRGC continues to clamor for Iran to display its strength to the West.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #865 on: July 28, 2017, 05:34:16 AM »

y The Editorial Board
July 27, 2017 7:06 p.m. ET
27 COMMENTS

One almost has to admire Iran’s chutzpah. On Wednesday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, 419-3, which would impose sanctions on Iran’s ballistic-missile program, its foreign ministry called the legislation “illegal and insulting.” On Thursday Iran made a scheduled launch of a huge missile, which it says will put 550-pound satellites into orbit.

The only people who should feel surprised or insulted by this are Barack Obama and John Kerry, who midwifed the 2015 nuclear-weapons agreement with the untrustworthy Iranians. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert rightly called the missile launch a violation of the spirit of that agreement.

That is as far as she can take it because Iran’s ballistic-missile program wasn’t formally in the nuclear agreement, despite Mr. Kerry’s statements of concern during negotiations. In the end he wanted a deal more than limits on those missiles. We assume Iran’s missile engineers are at least as competent as those in North Korea, which is approaching the ability to deploy intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Advocates of the nuclear deal persist in arguing that Iran is in compliance with its provisions. It takes considerable credulousness to believe that over the course of this agreement the Iranian military won’t adapt technical knowledge gained about launch and guidance from projects like its “satellite missile” program. With or without compliance, Iran is making progress as a strategic threat.

Appeared in the July 28, 2017, print edition.
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ccp
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« Reply #866 on: August 27, 2017, 09:20:32 AM »

What will the world look like when NK has ICBMs and Iran nuts and ICBMs?

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/trumps-white-house-iran-deal-team-has-collapsed-what-now
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G M
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« Reply #867 on: August 27, 2017, 09:24:49 AM »

What will the world look like when NK has ICBMs and Iran nuts and ICBMs?

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/trumps-white-house-iran-deal-team-has-collapsed-what-now

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pX9hL93HPMI

No worries. I've been told Iran is a rational actor!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #868 on: August 27, 2017, 10:25:07 AM »

I do not see it as Trump breaking his word but rather a matter of Tillerson being right-- withdrawing is not really an option.

Given the perhaps purposeful stupidity of Obama-Kerry in how they structured the deal, as best as I can tell we have zero leverage and zero benefit from exiting the deal.  THE IRANIANS ALREADY HAVE THE MONEY AND ALREADY HAVE VARIOUS ACTORS (German, French, Russians, Chinese, et al) DOING FULL SCALE BUSINESS ONCE AGAIN.

Were we to exit, the Iranians go nuke right now.
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ccp
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« Reply #869 on: August 27, 2017, 10:37:41 AM »

My point is that short of military action we are not going to stop NK or Iran from their military goals.

Trump's promise is an afterthought.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #870 on: August 29, 2017, 08:37:22 AM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450890/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump
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DougMacG
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« Reply #871 on: September 01, 2017, 09:29:34 AM »



Sad that John Bolton says he has lost access to President Trump.  He perhaps should have been the Sec of State or at least a well informed, contrary voice.

More detail on Iran nuclear deal here:

http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/verifying-section-t-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal

Verifying Section T of the Iran Nuclear Deal: Iranian Military Site Access Essential to JCPOA Section T Verification
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #872 on: October 04, 2017, 04:45:20 PM »

Yesterday's statements by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis aligns with Stratfor's Fourth-Quarter Forecast that the United States will work to increase pressure on Iran without alienating U.S. allies by completely pulling out of the nuclear deal. The future of the agreement will particularly uncertain until Oct. 15, the deadline for the U.S. State Department to recertify the deal based on the president's recommendations.

At a Senate hearing Oct. 3, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis addressed questions about his views on the future of the Iranian nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to abandon. Though Mattis has no formal say in the final decision on JCPOA, his statements revealed how the Trump administration might work to increase pressure on Iran while remaining party to the JCPOA.

Upset by Iran's role in Middle Eastern conflicts and concerned that Iran hasn't conceded enough under the nuclear deal, many U.S. officials are arguing for putting more pressure on Iran. The way that pressure is applied, however, is under debate. Some say that the nuclear deal undermines U.S. strategic objectives on Iran because under it the United States has agreed to freeze its harshest economic sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions could be reinstated if the U.S. State Department, on the advice of the president, refuses to recertify the JCPOA on the Oct. 15 deadline, giving Congress a 60-day window to reintroduce sanctions. But there is the fear that failing to recertify the JCPOA — or leaving it altogether — would alienate U.S. allies who support the deal and could lead Iran to restart its nuclear program without international oversight.

During his speech, Mattis worked to clarify that if the United States were to miss the deadline to recertify the agreement, it would not be akin to pulling out of the agreement completely. The international framework of the deal would still be intact, he said. The United States could refuse to recertify the deal for two reasons: because it finds Iran noncompliant with the deal or it finds the deal opposed to U.S. national security interests. Because most evidence, including the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency, suggests that Tehran has upheld its end of the bargain, it would be nearly impossible for the White House to justify withholding certification because of non-compliance. But it very well could refuse to certify the deal because of national security reasons. Any reinstated sanctions would add to existing sanctions on Iran not covered under the deal. In essence, if the Trump administration refuses to recertify the agreement on national security grounds, the issue would be punted to Congress, which could choose to impose additional sanctions on Iran.

Whatever the Trump administration decides, the United States will continue to pressure Iran through sanctions not related to the JCPOA and by responding harshly to any Iranian military provocation in the Middle East.
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« Reply #873 on: October 04, 2017, 08:15:45 PM »

speaking of Iran nuclear deal
Iran could be up for Nobel peace prize

I certainly think they along with the giant John Kerry deserve it - don't you?:

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/why-the-nobel-peace-prize-has-become-a-complete-joke
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ccp
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« Reply #874 on: October 06, 2017, 08:50:14 AM »

did not go to Iran or kerry

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/2017-nobel-peace-prize-ican_us_59d71ec1e4b072637c4327ba?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #875 on: October 10, 2017, 09:33:49 PM »

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Deep ideological differences and mutual mistrust have marred the relationship between the United States and Iran since the Islamic Republic replaced the nation's monarchy nearly four decades ago. But time has done little to heal the wounds that each country has inflicted on the other. Their enduring enmity will be on full display this week as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to "decertify" the deal Iran has struck with global powers on its nuclear program by arguing that the agreement isn't in the best interest of U.S. national security. Though Washington will likely keep sanctions relief for Tehran in place for now, Trump's speech will trigger a 60-day review period during which Congress will have the power to reimpose them.

Despite this apparent setback for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the prospect that the longtime adversaries will eventually set aside their grievances hasn't entirely dimmed. Because while political narratives come and go, the geopolitical forces that led to the nuclear deal's inception are here to stay, pushing the United States and Iran closer and closer to rapprochement.
The President's Gamble

The current U.S. administration has placed far more emphasis on curbing Iran's activities throughout the Middle East than its predecessor did. Within the past year, the White House has tried to unite Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, into a coalition against Iran while stepping up its military aid and weapons sales to Sunni powers across the region. In all likelihood, Trump will steadfastly maintain this tough stance when he unveils his administration's policy on Iran later this week, announcing additional targeted sanctions against it. As long as the nuclear deal remains intact, though, the use of Washington's strongest tool against Tehran — wide-reaching sanctions — will be off the table.

By reopening the debate about the JCPOA with the threat of withdrawal, Trump hopes to either rein in Iran's regional meddling or persuade Tehran to broaden the deal to include restrictions on its ballistic missile program and on its support for militant groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas. The president's strategy, however, is not without risk. Any cracks that open within the JCPOA's framework could spread quickly, perhaps even leading to the deal's collapse. Trump's approach also relies on the assumption that Iran — a country with a precarious political balance to maintain within its borders — won't respond aggressively to provocation.

Still, the president's gamble may not be as risky as it seems. We need only look at the forces that shaped the JCPOA's signing in the first place to see why. Over the past decade, the United States has searched for a way to reduce its presence in the Middle East and shift its attention to other parts of the world, including a resurgent Russia and a rising China. The solution it has settled on is to balance Middle Eastern powers — including Iran — against one another, forming a built-in check to prevent any one country from becoming too influential. But Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program was something that neither the United States nor its European allies could allow. The JCPOA thus offered a means of halting the program's progress without risking the outbreak of war.

The United States' pressing need to look beyond the Middle East persists to this day. In fact, if anything, it has become even more imperative: China's economy and military prowess are growing, the standoff between Russia and the West endures, and the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula has deepened. Reviving the nuclear ambitions of — and the threat of conflict with — Iran by abandoning the JCPOA would doubtless detract from the United States' ability to address these urgent needs in Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific. It would also harden North Korea's belief (not to mention Iran's) that negotiation with the United States on nuclear issues is futile.

To make matters more complicated, Washington is alone in its newest strategy to contain Iran's influence. Unlike the United States, Europe considers Iran's regional ambitions to be separate from its nuclear activities, and the JCPOA to be pertinent only to the latter. The White House has blurred that distinction in a way the deal wasn't designed to handle. This discrepancy is the reason that the rationale behind Washington's decertification of the accord is key: The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agree that there is no evidence to suggest that Iran is not complying with the deal. And as long as Iran upholds its end of the bargain, the European Union will likely push back against any U.S. attempt to reinstate broad sanctions, which would damage several European companies. (The Continental bloc has already vowed to challenge the United States in the World Trade Organization if it tries to do so.)

All of these factors will make it difficult for Congress to put sanctions back in place against Iran. But perhaps that's exactly what the Trump administration is counting on. After all, the president derided the nuclear deal during his campaign for office. By punting the issue to Congress, where lawmakers will have a hard time resuming sanctions, Trump can wash his hands of the decision and gain the political cover needed to keep the agreement in place while adopting a tougher stance toward Iran.
Weighing the Cost of a Nuclear Weapon

Of course, the United States is only half of the JCPOA equation. And though Iran is often portrayed throughout the West as an erratic and unreliable partner, the country — like all nation-states in the global system — is a rational actor whose moves reflect its constraints and imperatives.

Chief among them, for the Islamic republic, is the simple need to survive. Throughout history, Iran has faced the threat of invasion from the west, first from powerful forces in Mesopotamia and then from the state of Iraq, particularly under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Seizing the chance that revolution afforded, Saddam invaded the Islamic republic not long after its establishment in 1979, prompting former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini to restart the deposed shah's nuclear weapons program in search of a credible deterrent against Iraq. Vital oil reserves along Iran's border with Iraq has only heightened its vulnerability in modern times.

With Saddam's removal from power, Iraq presented more opportunity than risk to Iran, and Tehran began to exert influence over its neighbor's Shiite leaders. But Iraq's fate also served as a stark warning: The weapons of mass destruction that were once an asset for Saddam became the liability that led to his downfall. The message was not lost on Iran, which halted most of its nuclear weapons development in 2003, even as it used the facade of the program's progress to drive a grand bargain with the United States.

This strategy, though quite rational, backfired by encouraging the creation of a powerful sanctions regime that crippled the Iranian economy. Prior to 1979, Iran's economy was roughly the size of Saudi Arabia's; today it is only three-fifths as large. As a result, the Islamic republic has struggled to make good on many of the promises that brought it to power. And in a country with a lengthy history of revolution and political upheaval, the popular backlash that sustained hardship tends to generate doesn't bode well for the government’s self-preservation.

Iran's leaders, who lack the immunity to widespread discontent that North Korea's dictatorship enjoys, believe that the greatest threat to the nation's stability today comes from within. Countering it requires a stronger economy and the careful management of social and political discord — both goals that have reinforced the growing sentiment among Iranians that the pursuit of a nuclear weapons program isn't worth the steep cost of sanctions. Consequently, Iran is keen to avoid making any rash decisions about its nuclear weapons development. Rather than uniting the United States and its allies by restarting its shuttered program, Tehran will likely keep using the issue to drive the wedge between them even deeper.
A Piece of a Bigger Puzzle

Iran will enter into any new negotiations over its nuclear program with an eye toward the rest of the international community as well. Iran has little incentive to remain a pariah state, given the extent to which that status has already devastated its economy, and a movement toward diplomatic moderation has blossomed among the country's leaders since the late 1980s. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is now the standard-bearer for that movement, though the volatile nature of the nation's politics has hampered his attempts to act on that ideology so far.

Nevertheless, he and his contemporaries have the heft of geopolitics on their side. Though Iran's rhetoric has traditionally targeted the United States, it is Turkey and Russia that may be more likely to threaten Tehran's security interests, especially as Washington withdraws from the region. Iran is deeply concerned about Turkey's resurgence in the lands it previously controlled during the Ottoman Empire, including Iraq and the Levant. And Russia — a country with which Iran has fought numerous wars — has similarly increased its involvement in Tehran's backyard over the past decade. Detente with an external powerhouse like the United States would certainly improve Iran's position against both threats.

Saudi Arabia is another regional rival that Iran is sure to watch, particularly given the Sunni kingdom's close relationship with the United States. Despite that partnership, however, Washington's strategy of balancing power in the Middle East requires just that: balance. Saudi Arabia's influence could therefore wane in the coming decades, especially since its prominence is based in oil reserves and the wealth that comes with them. As the Saudi oil industry becomes less lucrative over time, it will call into question the kingdom's economic vitality — and by extension, its utility as the United States' most powerful Middle Eastern ally.

Of course, Iran's economy relies on oil, too. But it is far more diversified, which suggests that it will fare better in a world where oil no longer reigns supreme. Moreover, Iran has the advantage of strategic location. As China works to build land routes through Asia to Europe, it will have to choose whether to pass through Iran or Russia — a decision that Beijing's natural rivalry with Moscow will make easy. With a quick glance at the map, it is clear how Iran's position on China's newest Silk Road would give Washington plenty of opportunities to counter both China and Russia if Tehran were its partner.
A Partnership Checked by Politics

The slow-moving undercurrents of geopolitics can take years to shape domestic policy. In the meantime, Iran and the United States will continue to display their mutual animosity at home. Iran's powerful hard-line groups, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, have staunchly opposed negotiation with the United States. Trump's recent actions have only reinforced their belief that Washington cannot be trusted, and if Rouhani's administration offers to discuss scaling back its conventional weapons program, as some have suggested it might, their objections will only grow louder. Until Iran takes true strides toward a more moderate foreign policy, its conservative groups will continue to disrupt any agreement with the United States that stretches beyond its nuclear program.

Back in the United States, Iran's support for Middle Eastern militant groups and threats to the Persian Gulf have slowed Washington's attempts to pull back from the region. The reputation Iran has gained among the American public hasn't made things any easier: Many of Iran's current leaders were visible figures during the Islamic Revolution, the subsequent hostage incident at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the talks regarding Iran's nuclear program, all events that painted a picture of an untrustworthy nation. That paint will only start to chip away when the next generation of political leaders rises to power in both countries.

For now, Iran and the United States have reached a crossroads in their relationship. Many of their long-term imperatives have begun to align. But it remains to be seen how quickly they will override the more immediate national and regional problems that each state now faces. And should the nuclear deal collapse, it could push back the lasting relationship that Iran and the United States have begun to build by another decade.
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« Reply #876 on: October 12, 2017, 09:04:23 AM »

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/355048-trump-to-force-gop-reckoning-on-iran

The Fixers vs. the Walkers:  Good discussion

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/452555/iran-nuclear-deal-trumps-two-options?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NR%20Daily%20Monday%20through%20Friday%202017-10-11&utm_term=NR5PM%20Actives
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« Reply #877 on: October 12, 2017, 12:18:03 PM »

second post

How to Defeat the Islamic Republic
Iran’s regime resembles the Soviet Union in its dying days. Trump can follow Reagan’s example.
By Reuel Marc Gerecht and
Ray Takeyh
Oct. 11, 2017 5:54 p.m. ET
128 COMMENTS

Iran’s modern history is replete with examples of the citizenry seeking to reclaim power from despots. The Pahlavi dynasty, which ruled between 1925 and 1979, regularly faced popular rebellions, including the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Once the country’s current clerical rulers made clear their disdain for democracy, they too were beset by protest movements. The Islamic Republic’s Western enablers present it as strong and steady, but the theocracy now resembles the Soviet Union in its dying days.

Once in power, Iran’s Islamists faced open rebellion from the revolutionary factions that objected to their republic of virtue. This was a battle waged in the streets as well as in Parliament and the press. The mullahs proved more ruthless than their liberal and Marxist detractors.

The Iran-Iraq war tranquilized Iran’s domestic politics in the 1980s, as national energies were focused on a savage foreign invader. In the 1990s the power struggle resumed. The reform movement, led by disgruntled members of the intellectual and clerical elite, challenged the regime’s orthodoxies and even called for making the office of the supreme leader accountable to the electorate. The reformist interlude ended with the student rebellion of 1999, when government enforcers bloodied the universities.

Then came the Green Movement in June 2009. A rigged election to restore Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the presidency brought millions to the streets. In a matter of days, the slogans went from “Where is my vote?” to “Down with dictatorship!” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei initially seemed flat-footed, the clerical elite unsure if it could trust the security services.

Eventually the theocracy restored order, but it had already lost whatever tattered legitimacy it had left. The regime shed the facade of republicanism, purged itself of unreliable elements, imprisoned its most popular politicians, and abandoned even the pretense of harmonizing faith and freedom. The notion of political reform was dead and all talk of human rights was only that—talk. The Islamic Republic proved it could not reform itself.
Green Movement protesters in Tehran, June 9, 2009.
Green Movement protesters in Tehran, June 9, 2009. Photo: Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Meantime, government reports, the controlled press and even senior Revolutionary Guard commanders reluctantly confess the truth: Islam is growing weaker within Iran. Mosques, thinning out for 30 years, are now mostly empty even on religious holidays. Seminaries have few recruits, and the government of God has trouble supplying mosques with prayer leaders. Secularism is on the rise, particularly among the youth, among whom religious observance has declined precipitously. The regime conducts its ritualistic elections, and apparatchiks like Hassan Rouhani lead a bloated state drowning in corruption. The specter of the Green Movement haunts tightly controlled elections, as chants for the overthrow of the regime often erupt.

The ideologically exhausted theocracy tries to revitalize itself by imperialism and patronage, much as the Soviet Union did in the 1970s. Mr. Khamenei stands today as modern Persia’s most successful imperialist, as he has planted Iran’s flag from the Gulf to the Mediterranean. But imperialism carries costs, as the Shiite militias Iran arms and local allies it subsidizes burden its treasury.

The regime depicts its adventures as quests to save Arab Shiites from Sunni domination and Western machination. Foreign wars have become an advanced guard of the revolution, according to the late Revolutionary Guard general Hossein Hamedani, who squelched the Green Movement in Tehran and then organized the Shiite militias fighting in Syria. “To protect the accomplishments of the Islamic revolution,” Hamedani proudly asserted, “we had to intervene” in Syria and Iraq.

At home, the clerical regime established an array of welfare agencies to dispense benefits to its lower-class constituents. This was not just about fulfilling a religious obligation. The regime sought to tether the working poor to the new order. Large foundations expropriated the wealth of the Pahlavis and tens of thousands of affluent Iranians to provide the poor with housing and health care. But temptations of power proved too much as the mullahs and their praetorian guard indulged their taste for luxury. Corruption overtook charity. Class cleavages today are sharper than under the shah. But this vast revolutionary patronage offers the regime a lifeline from its economic incompetence and tyranny. It is this lifeline that aggressive sanctions must choke off.

There are no inevitabilities in history. Nobody knew when the Soviet Union’s contradictions would overwhelm the system, and there is no time stamp on the Islamic Republic’s demise. Jimmy Carter and the vast majority of the Democratic Party wanted to coexist with the Soviet Union. But Ronald Reagan helped crack the Soviet Communist Party by waging economic warfare, empowering dissidents, and shrinking its imperial frontiers.

President Trump should follow Reagan’s example, not Mr. Carter’s. The U.S. should once more establish contact with and financially assist dissident organizations in Iran. There is no substitute for presidential declaration, and Mr. Trump should embrace Reagan’s model of speaking directly to the Iranian people while castigating their illegitimate regime. Washington should again impose crippling sanctions to deny the mullahs their patronage networks, the key to their power. A formula that led to the collapse of the mighty Soviet empire can surely down Mr. Khamenei’s and the Revolutionary Guard’s kleptocracy.

Mr. Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy. Mr. Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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« Reply #878 on: October 12, 2017, 09:16:42 PM »

To punt everything back to Congress?
Didn't he just do this with immigration ?  Daca?

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/iran-decertification-trump-friday/2017/10/12/id/819390/
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« Reply #879 on: October 13, 2017, 01:17:18 AM »

DACA was quite properly punted back to Congress!  After all, Obama's EO was unconstitutional!

As for the Iran decertification, there too it strikes me as a solid course of action:

The deal should have been a treaty, yes?  So how can it be wrong for the little congressional participation that survived per the deal be brought into play? Seems sound to me to force Congress to take a stand as he goes into this.
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« Reply #880 on: October 13, 2017, 06:41:35 PM »

like asking liberals the question:
"what is it about the word ILLEGAL you do not understand?"  when talking of immigration.

Newt asks:

" What is it about 'DEATH TO AMERICA' you do not understand?"

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Gingrich-Iran-Nukes-Trump/2017/10/13/id/819585/
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« Reply #881 on: October 13, 2017, 08:35:17 PM »

In Stratfor's 2017 Fourth-Quarter Forecast, we said that the current U.S. administration would make its distaste for Iranian military and political activities known, as well as attempt to counter Iran through sanctions. In U.S. President Donald Trump's most recent speech, he outlined his plans to achieve precisely that.

U.S. President Donald Trump stood behind his campaign trail promises when announcing his plans for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal. On Oct. 13, Trump announced that he would not recertify the deal to Congress when it comes up for review in two days. Rather, he announced that he would push Congress to amend current legislation on the deal and outlined a new U.S. policy to contain Iran's regional ambitions.

The United States' new plan is focused on four key objectives: to curtail Iran's ballistic missile program, to counter Iranian activities in the Middle East, to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and to limit Iran's ability to finance its regional actions through sanctions. Additionally, Trump said the United States would further sanction the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its affiliates by listing it as a terrorist organization. 

Trump declined to immediately snap back sanctions frozen under the JCPOA, but announced plans to work with Congress and U.S. allies to pressure Iran and amend the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA). Among other changes, the Trump administration wants to amend the INARA so that sanctions on Iran snap back automatically, without a vote from Congress, if the country's nuclear program is found to be in violation of the deal. The administration would also like to include automatic responses for certain Iranian activity, such as ballistic missile testing. Unless Trump can convince Congress to amend the legislation, he says he will terminate the JCPOA. Although the United States can't decide unilaterally to terminate the JCPOA, a U.S. exodus would likely be the beginning of the deal's end.

The biggest risk ahead lies in the details of the amendments. Trump wants the United States to respond with sanctions if Iran takes certain actions, but the question is whether those actions will include activities Iran did not agree to refrain from under the JCPOA. It is also unclear whether Trump's proposed sanctions are different, or different enough, to those the United States promised to lift under the JCPOA. Unless the United States is careful, it could put sanctions in place that put the country in breach of the nuclear deal and push Iran to spitefully restart its nuclear weapons program.

Congress has already carefully constructed one bill of sanctions on Iran that ensured the United States did not violate its international commitments under the JCPOA. In the drafting of further sanctions, Congress could construct the language carefully enough to maintain order and secure enough senate votes to pass it, even if that bill is not in line with Trump's speech. To modify the INARA, the Senate will need to burst through a filibuster. But that means getting at least eight Democrats on boards, which is a tall order.

The Trump administration has a tough hill to climb in not only getting Congress on board, but in convincing its allies as well. Shortly after Trump's announcement, France, Germany and the United Kingdom — the three European countries that signed the JCPOA along with the European Union — issued a joint statement saying that preserving the deal was in their shared national interests.

Trump did not announce a deadline for enacting his plans. Because of this, he can use threats to terminate the deal to push Congress and U.S. allies into closer alignment with his goals. Over the next year, the JCPOA will become increasingly fragile.
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« Reply #882 on: October 13, 2017, 11:36:56 PM »

What is our strategy if Iran and/or we walk?
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« Reply #883 on: October 14, 2017, 05:27:23 PM »

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/371993.php

October 13, 2017
Maybe Obedience Training Does Work On Congressmen
obey111.jpg
Paul Ryan backs Trump's move against 'fatally flawed' Iran deal

Ryan said Congress will work with the Trump administration "to counter Iran's range of destabilizing activities."
Trump said Friday he wants Congress to work on legislation that would impose much tougher and permanent sanctions against Iran, and warned that without putting more pressure on Iran, the U.S. would walk away from the Iran nuclear deal.

Nice of Ryan to work with the head of his party.

And obviously the subtext of President Trump's comments is that he will do his damnedest regardless of what congress wants.

The assessment of North Korea's nuclear capability changed radically from, "nah, they ain't got shit," to, "Oh fvck, we are screwed if they want to play rough."

Does anyone with half a brain seriously entertain the notion that Iran is not going full steam ahead into the operational nuclear weapons stage of their effort? And that they will be successful?

If we don't act sooner rather than later we will be faced with a nuclear-capable Iran...a country that has as its official religion's central tenet a desire for the end of the world.

At this point the only adult in Washington is the President; the only man who is taking Iran seriously.
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« Reply #884 on: October 14, 2017, 10:17:12 PM »

John Bolton too.

BTW President Trump spoke to JB the day before his speech.

All of which sounds cool and all, but exactly what do we do when the Iranians say FY, and go for building the bomb, or worse yet uncork one in a test?

How's that working for us with the Norks?
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« Reply #885 on: October 14, 2017, 10:33:16 PM »

John Bolton too.

BTW President Trump spoke to JB the day before his speech.

All of which sounds cool and all, but exactly what do we do when the Iranians say FY, and go for building the bomb, or worse yet uncork one in a test?

How's that working for us with the Norks?


1. Destroy North Korea as a lesson to others.

2. Repeat with Iran, if lesson unlearned.

Sorry. Being nice and using diplomacy got us to this point.
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« Reply #886 on: October 15, 2017, 02:49:52 AM »

Years ago Stratfor wrote of the Iranians being a very serious military problem , , , and that was then.

Similarly the Norks.

Short of pre-emptive military nuke strike, I'm not seeing a path here , , , and apart from the moral issues, getting the military to launch a nuclear war of choice, etc. there is also the matter of what lessons would be drawn by China, Russia, et al.

 , , ,  https://conservativetribune.com/nuclear-mission-coast-nk/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=AE&utm_campaign=can&utm_content=2017-10-13
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 02:52:46 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #887 on: October 15, 2017, 02:34:03 PM »

second post

Trump’s Iran Strategy
A nuclear fudge in the service of a larger containment policy.
President Donald J. Trump departs the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Oct. 13.
President Donald J. Trump departs the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Oct. 13. Photo: JIM LO scalzo/epa-efe/rex/shutterstock/EPA/Shutterstock
By The Editorial Board
Oct. 13, 2017 6:48 p.m. ET


Donald Trump announced Friday that he won’t “certify” his predecessor’s nuclear deal with Iran, but he won’t walk away from it either. This is something of a political fudge to satisfy a campaign promise, but it is also part of a larger and welcome strategic shift from Barack Obama’s illusions about arms control and the Islamic Republic.

Mr. Trump chose not to withdraw from the nuclear deal despite his ferocious criticism during the campaign and again on Friday. The deal itself is a piece of paper that Mr. Obama signed at the United Nations but never submitted to Congress as a treaty. The certification is an obligation of American law, the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015, that requires a President to report every 90 days whether Iran is complying with the deal. Mr. Trump said Iran isn’t “living up to the spirit of the deal” and he listed “multiple violations.”

The President can thus say he’s honoring his campaign opposition to the pact, without taking responsibility for blowing it up. This partial punt is a bow to the Europeans and some of his own advisers who fear the consequences if the U.S. withdraws. The worry is that Iran could use that as an excuse to walk away itself, and sprint to build a bomb, while the U.S. would be unable to reimpose the global sanctions that drove Iran to negotiate.

This is unlikely because the deal is so advantageous for Iran. The ruling mullahs need the foreign investment the deal allows, and there are enough holes to let Iran do research and break out once the deal begins phasing out in 2025. Iran will huff and puff about Mr. Trump’s decertification, but it wants the deal intact.

Yet we can understand why Mr. Trump wants to avoid an immediate break with European leaders who like the deal. This gives the U.S. time to persuade Europe of ways to strengthen the accord. French President Emmanuel Macron has talked publicly about dealing with Iran’s ballistic missile threat, and a joint statement by British, German and French leaders Friday left room to address Iranian aggression.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is asking Congress to rewrite the Nuclear Review Act to set new “red lines” on Iranian behavior. The Administration has been working for months with GOP Senators Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Tom Cotton (Ark.) on legislation they’ll unveil as early as next week. This will include markers such as limits on ballistic missiles and centrifuges and ending the deal’s sunset provisions. If Iran crosses those lines, the pre-deal sanctions would snap back on.

There’s no guarantee this can get 60 Senate votes. But making Iran’s behavior the trigger for snap-back sanctions is what Mr. Obama also said he favored while he was selling the deal in 2015. The difference is that once he signed the deal his Administration had no incentive to enforce it lest he concede a mistake. The Senate legislation would make snap-back sanctions a more realistic discipline. Senators may also want to act to deter Mr. Trump from totally withdrawing sometime in the future—as he threatened Friday if Congress fails.

The most promising part of Mr. Trump’s strategy is its vow to deter Iranian imperialism in the Middle East. The President laid out a long history of Iran’s depredations—such as backing for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and rebels in Yemen, cyber attacks on the U.S., hostility to Israel, and support for terrorism. Notably, Mr. Trump singled out the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the regime’s military vanguard, for new U.S. financial sanctions.

This is a welcome change from President Obama, who was so preoccupied with getting his nuclear deal that he ignored Iran’s efforts to expand the Shiite Islamic revolution. Mr. Trump is putting the nuclear issue in the proper strategic context as merely one part of the larger Iranian attempt to dominate the region. This will go down well with Israel and the Sunni Arab states that were horrified by Mr. Obama’s tilt toward Tehran.

One question is how this squares with Mr. Trump’s cease-fire deal with Russia in southern Syria. Russia is allied with Iran in Syria, and the cease-fire is serving as protection for Revolutionary Guard attempts to control the border region with Israel, which has had to bomb the area repeatedly. Mr. Trump still hasn’t figured out a strategy for Syria or Russia, and that could undermine his effort to contain Iran.

Barack Obama left his successor a world in turmoil, with authoritarians on the march in China, North Korea, Russia and Iran. Mr. Trump needs a strategy for each, and the steps he took Friday are crucial in containing Iran.
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« Reply #888 on: October 15, 2017, 03:01:52 PM »

Years ago Stratfor wrote of the Iranians being a very serious military problem , , , and that was then.

Similarly the Norks.

Short of pre-emptive military nuke strike, I'm not seeing a path here , , , and apart from the moral issues, getting the military to launch a nuclear war of choice, etc. there is also the matter of what lessons would be drawn by China, Russia, et al.

 , , ,  https://conservativetribune.com/nuclear-mission-coast-nk/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=AE&utm_campaign=can&utm_content=2017-10-13

What is the morality of waiting for North Korea to inflict a strike that could potentially kill 90% of Americans?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/congress-warned-north-korean-emp-attack-would-kill-90-of-all-americans/article/2637349

« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 03:17:18 PM by G M » Logged
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« Reply #889 on: October 15, 2017, 06:26:45 PM »

" What is the morality of waiting for North Korea to inflict a strike that could potentially kill 90% of Americans?   "

well if the target were Hollywood ...............  just kidding.
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« Reply #890 on: October 16, 2017, 10:49:08 AM »

Bolton makes many essential and sound points here (no surprise!) but IMHO the essential question remains:  What to do?  Is the implicit answer that we go to war?

A Slow Death for the Iran Deal
Trump has ‘scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.’ But proposed congressional ‘fixes’ are feckless.
A Tehran headline: ‘Crazy Trump and Logical JCPOA.’
A Tehran headline: ‘Crazy Trump and Logical JCPOA.’ Photo: EPA/Shutterstock
By John Bolton
Oct. 15, 2017 5:58 p.m. ET
83 COMMENTS

As Abba Eban observed, “Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources.” So it goes with America and the Iran deal. President Trump announced Friday that the U.S. would stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, even while he refused to certify under U.S. law that the deal is in the national interest. “Decertification,” a bright, shiny object for many, obscures the real issue—whether the agreement should survive. Mr. Trump has “scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.”

While Congress considers how to respond—or, more likely, not respond—we should focus on the grave threats inherent in the deal. Peripheral issues have often dominated the debate; forests have been felled arguing over whether Iran has complied with the deal’s terms. Proposed “fixes” now abound, such as a suggestion to eliminate the sunset provisions on the deal’s core provisions.

The core provisions are the central danger. There are no real “fixes” to this intrinsically misconceived agreement. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a party, has never included sunset clauses, but the mullahs have been violating it for decades.

If the U.S. left the JCPOA, it would not need to justify the decision by showing that the Iranians have exceeded the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment (though they have). Many argued Russia was not violating the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (though it likely was) when President Bush gave notice of withdrawal in 2001, but that was not the point. The issue was whether the ABM Treaty remained strategically wise for America. So too for the Iran deal. It is neither dishonorable nor unusual for countries to withdraw from international agreements that contravene their vital interests. As Charles de Gaulle put it, treaties “are like girls and roses; they last while they last.”

When Germany, Britain and France began nuclear negotiations with Iran in 2003, they insisted that their objective was to block the mullahs from the nuclear fuel cycle’s “front end” (uranium enrichment) as well as its “back end” (plutonium reprocessing from spent fuel). They assured Washington that Tehran would be limited to “peaceful” nuclear applications like medicine and electricity generation. Nuclear-fuel supplies and the timely removal of spent fuel from Iran’s “peaceful” reactors would be covered by international guaranties.

So firm were the Europeans that they would not even negotiate unless Iran agreed to suspend all enrichment-related activity. Under these conditions, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell agreed their effort could proceed. Today, JCPOA advocates conveniently ignore how much Barack Obama and the Europeans conceded to Iran’s insistence that it would never give up uranium enrichment.

The West’s collapse was a grave error. Regardless of JCPOA limits, Iran benefits from continued enrichment, research and development by expanding the numbers of scientists and technicians it has with firsthand nuclear experience. All this will be invaluable to the ayatollahs come the day they disdain any longer to conceal their real nuclear strategy.

Congress’s ill-advised “fixes” would only make things worse. Sens. Bob Corker and Tom Cotton suggest automatically reimposing sanctions if Iran gets within a year of having nuclear weapons. That’s a naive and dangerous proposal: Iran is already within days of having nuclear weapons, given that it can buy them from North Korea. On the deal’s first anniversary, Mr. Obama said that “Iran’s breakout time has been extended from two to three months to about a year.” At best, Corker-Cotton would codify Mr. Obama’s ephemeral and inaccurate propaganda without constraining Iran.

Such triggering mechanisms assume the U.S. enjoys complete certainty and comprehensive knowledge of every aspect of Iran’s nuclear program. In reality, there is serious risk Tehran will evade the intelligence and inspection efforts, and we will find out too late Tehran already possesses nuclear weapons.

The unanswerable reality is that economic sanctions have never stopped a relentless regime from getting the bomb. That is the most frightening lesson of 25 years of failure in dealing with Iran and North Korea. Colin Powell told me he once advised British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw : “Jack, if you want to bring the Iranians around, you have to hold an ax over their heads.” The new proposals aren’t even a dull razor blade.

The JCPOA is also packed with provisions that have never received adequate scrutiny. Take Annex III, which envisages full-scale assistance to, and cooperation with, Iran’s “peaceful” civil nuclear efforts. Annex III contemplates facilitating Iran’s acquisition of “state of the art” light-water reactors, broader nuclear-research programs, and, stunningly, protection against “nuclear security threats” to Iran’s nuclear program.

It sounds suspiciously like the Clinton administration’s failed Agreed Framework with North Korea. Many Clinton alumni were part of Mr. Obama’s Iran negotiation team. In Washington, nothing succeeds like failure. Mr. Trump and his congressional supporters should expressly repudiate Annex III and insist that Europe, Russia and China do the same.

The Iran nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump has excoriated repeatedly, is hanging by an unraveling thread. Congress won’t improve it. American and European businesses proceed at their own peril on trade or investment with Iran. The deal should have died last week and will breathe its last shortly.

Mr. Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
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G M
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« Reply #891 on: October 16, 2017, 10:51:04 AM »

We can keep kicking the can, in hopes of more road.


Bolton makes many essential and sound points here (no surprise!) but IMHO the essential question remains:  What to do?  Is the implicit answer that we go to war?

A Slow Death for the Iran Deal
Trump has ‘scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.’ But proposed congressional ‘fixes’ are feckless.
A Tehran headline: ‘Crazy Trump and Logical JCPOA.’
A Tehran headline: ‘Crazy Trump and Logical JCPOA.’ Photo: EPA/Shutterstock
By John Bolton
Oct. 15, 2017 5:58 p.m. ET
83 COMMENTS

As Abba Eban observed, “Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources.” So it goes with America and the Iran deal. President Trump announced Friday that the U.S. would stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, even while he refused to certify under U.S. law that the deal is in the national interest. “Decertification,” a bright, shiny object for many, obscures the real issue—whether the agreement should survive. Mr. Trump has “scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.”

While Congress considers how to respond—or, more likely, not respond—we should focus on the grave threats inherent in the deal. Peripheral issues have often dominated the debate; forests have been felled arguing over whether Iran has complied with the deal’s terms. Proposed “fixes” now abound, such as a suggestion to eliminate the sunset provisions on the deal’s core provisions.

The core provisions are the central danger. There are no real “fixes” to this intrinsically misconceived agreement. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran is a party, has never included sunset clauses, but the mullahs have been violating it for decades.

If the U.S. left the JCPOA, it would not need to justify the decision by showing that the Iranians have exceeded the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment (though they have). Many argued Russia was not violating the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (though it likely was) when President Bush gave notice of withdrawal in 2001, but that was not the point. The issue was whether the ABM Treaty remained strategically wise for America. So too for the Iran deal. It is neither dishonorable nor unusual for countries to withdraw from international agreements that contravene their vital interests. As Charles de Gaulle put it, treaties “are like girls and roses; they last while they last.”

When Germany, Britain and France began nuclear negotiations with Iran in 2003, they insisted that their objective was to block the mullahs from the nuclear fuel cycle’s “front end” (uranium enrichment) as well as its “back end” (plutonium reprocessing from spent fuel). They assured Washington that Tehran would be limited to “peaceful” nuclear applications like medicine and electricity generation. Nuclear-fuel supplies and the timely removal of spent fuel from Iran’s “peaceful” reactors would be covered by international guaranties.

So firm were the Europeans that they would not even negotiate unless Iran agreed to suspend all enrichment-related activity. Under these conditions, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell agreed their effort could proceed. Today, JCPOA advocates conveniently ignore how much Barack Obama and the Europeans conceded to Iran’s insistence that it would never give up uranium enrichment.

The West’s collapse was a grave error. Regardless of JCPOA limits, Iran benefits from continued enrichment, research and development by expanding the numbers of scientists and technicians it has with firsthand nuclear experience. All this will be invaluable to the ayatollahs come the day they disdain any longer to conceal their real nuclear strategy.

Congress’s ill-advised “fixes” would only make things worse. Sens. Bob Corker and Tom Cotton suggest automatically reimposing sanctions if Iran gets within a year of having nuclear weapons. That’s a naive and dangerous proposal: Iran is already within days of having nuclear weapons, given that it can buy them from North Korea. On the deal’s first anniversary, Mr. Obama said that “Iran’s breakout time has been extended from two to three months to about a year.” At best, Corker-Cotton would codify Mr. Obama’s ephemeral and inaccurate propaganda without constraining Iran.

Such triggering mechanisms assume the U.S. enjoys complete certainty and comprehensive knowledge of every aspect of Iran’s nuclear program. In reality, there is serious risk Tehran will evade the intelligence and inspection efforts, and we will find out too late Tehran already possesses nuclear weapons.

The unanswerable reality is that economic sanctions have never stopped a relentless regime from getting the bomb. That is the most frightening lesson of 25 years of failure in dealing with Iran and North Korea. Colin Powell told me he once advised British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw : “Jack, if you want to bring the Iranians around, you have to hold an ax over their heads.” The new proposals aren’t even a dull razor blade.

The JCPOA is also packed with provisions that have never received adequate scrutiny. Take Annex III, which envisages full-scale assistance to, and cooperation with, Iran’s “peaceful” civil nuclear efforts. Annex III contemplates facilitating Iran’s acquisition of “state of the art” light-water reactors, broader nuclear-research programs, and, stunningly, protection against “nuclear security threats” to Iran’s nuclear program.

It sounds suspiciously like the Clinton administration’s failed Agreed Framework with North Korea. Many Clinton alumni were part of Mr. Obama’s Iran negotiation team. In Washington, nothing succeeds like failure. Mr. Trump and his congressional supporters should expressly repudiate Annex III and insist that Europe, Russia and China do the same.

The Iran nuclear deal, which Mr. Trump has excoriated repeatedly, is hanging by an unraveling thread. Congress won’t improve it. American and European businesses proceed at their own peril on trade or investment with Iran. The deal should have died last week and will breathe its last shortly.

Mr. Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” (Simon & Schuster, 2007).

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #892 on: October 16, 2017, 02:50:14 PM »

https://clarionproject.org/us-treasury-crippling-sanctions-irgc/
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ccp
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Posts: 7512


« Reply #893 on: October 16, 2017, 03:46:43 PM »

We need something like Pearl Harbor to garner the political will to get  this over with.

Maybe a Havana harbor would be better, though probably not enough.

That said the N Koreans are too clever by half to let any of this happen.

So we have to sit and allow this murderous regime to threaten us with ICBMs till they can finally do it.

And of course we have those on our side who rationalize (irrationally) that the NKoreans are doing what they need to do to protect themselves.   angry







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