Archive for March 19, 2018

Defiant Iran Rejects Changes to Nuclear Deal and its Missile Program

March 19, 2018

by IPT News • Mar 19, 2018 at 9:58 am

Source Link: Defiant Iran Rejects Changes to Nuclear Deal and its Missile Program

{We shall see. – LS}

Iran has flat out rejected any efforts to renegotiate the nuclear agreement, amid reports of European efforts to constrain Iran’s regional expansion and ballistic missile program. Speaking in Tehran earlier this month, Ayatollah Khamenei proclaimed that Europe and the United States have no right to discuss Iran’s regional posture, according Dr. Raz Zimmt’s latest report for the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

The region, Khamenei said in the same speech, belongs to Iran, not Europe.

The European Union reportedly is mulling new sanctions over non-nuclear related activities in an effort to keep the United States from terminating the nuclear agreement.

In response, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, said that Iran “will not accept any changes, any interpretation or new measure aimed at limiting” the 2015 nuclear deal.

“The ballistic program of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which has a defensive nature, will steadfastly continue,” said Shamkhani. The senior Iranian official is also close to the supreme leader Khamenei.

Iran’s foreign minister rejected his French counterpart’s call to reign in Iran’s missile program after a meeting in Tehran earlier this month intended to preserve the nuclear agreement.

Click here for to access the full Meir Amit Center report, which also covers other notable Iran-related developments this month.

For example, during a March 4 conference, a senior military adviser to the ayatollah called on the Syrian military to force U.S. troops out from the Euphrates Valley. That same day, a photo of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Qasem Soleimani and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a recent meeting surfaced on social media. Nasrallah has been meeting with high profile terrorist leaders in recent months in a sign of growing cooperation with sworn enemies of Israel.

Hizballah’s devotion to Iran’s revolutionary ideology takes precedence over Lebanon’s constitution, Nasrallah said in a March 10 speech delivered to Iranians in Lebanon. Nasrallah reiterated that Hizballah adheres to Khamenei’s orders and avoids engaging in any behavior that irritates the supreme leader. While Hizballah claims to be Lebanon’s protector and vanguard, the speech reaffirms Hizballah’s primary commitment to carrying out Iran’s directives, even at the expense of Lebanese domestic interests.

These recent developments show that Iran and its proxies remain defiant in the face of international pressure to cease its destabilizing regional activities, while refusing to consider any alternative to the current nuclear agreement.


Sen. Corker expects Trump to pull out of Iran deal by May

March 19, 2018

March 19, 2018

By Rick Moran

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker told Face the Nation he expects that Donald Trump will pull out of the Iran deal by May.

“The Iran deal will be another issue that’s coming up in May, and right now it doesn’t feel like it’s gonna be extended,” Corker said on the CBS “Face the Nation” program.

Asked if he believed Trump would pull out on May 12, the deadline for the president to issue a new waiver to suspend Iran sanctions as part of the deal, Corker responded, “I do.  I do.”

Corker’s speculation is well founded.  Recent personnel moves by the president signal a much tougher stance toward Iran.

L.A. Times:

In Pompeo, the president will get a bellicose secretary of State who, while serving in Congress in 2014, called for breaking off talks with Tehran and launching hundreds of airstrikes instead against its nuclear facilities – not unlike Trump’s vow last year to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea.

Several diplomats say Trump will have a hard time coaxing North Korea to conclude a nuclear deal if he has just abandoned one with Iran that was unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council and is closely monitored by U.N. nuclear inspectors – who have found no Iranian violations.

Like the president, Pompeo long has complained that the Obama administration signed a deeply flawed agreement, one Trump calls “the worst deal ever.”

In the critics’ view, the U.S. should not have agreed to any time limits, known as sunset clauses, in the deal. Most importantly, some nuclear restrictions will expire in 2030, and the opponents say Iran can then again push for a bomb.

Critics also say the exhaustive negotiations – which sought to prevent Iran from designing, building or acquiring nuclear weapons – should have included other Iranian threats, including its ballistic missile program and its support for militant groups in the Middle East.

The world loves the Iran deal because it kept the U.S. from attacking Iran to destroy its nuclear program – or delay it a few years, anyway.  In return for delaying the Iranian program (some restrictions on the Iranians will expire in less than five years), Iran got $100 billion to fund terrorism, modernize its army, and finance its expansionist policies.

Some deal.

The E.U. will scramble to try and save the deal by imposing some meaningless sanctions on Iran.  But the expanding and improving Iranian ICBM program – aimed almost exclusively at Israel – will not be affected by any sanctions regime established by the E.U.

Iranian proxies continue to run wild in Syria and Yemen while their military capabilities improve.  If Trump gets rid of the deal and Iran starts building a weapon, it will give the U.S. the excuse to take out its nuclear program.

That may be what Trump has in mind anyway.  Pompeo could become the administration point man to get it done.

France: Toward Total Submission to Islam, Destruction of Free Speech

March 19, 2018