Archive for June 22, 2018

Iran may exit nuclear deal in coming weeks – Deputy FM

June 22, 2018
https://www.rt.com/news/430522-iran-nuclear-deal-exit/
© Brendan Smialowski / Reuters
The Iran nuclear deal is in “intensive care” and it’s possible that Tehran will have to withdraw from the pact if an agreement cannot be reached with its European signatories, the country’s deputy FM Abbas Araghchi has warned.

Iran wants to preserve the deal but adjustments need to be made as a result of Washington’s decision to withdraw from the landmark accord, Abbas Araghchi said in an interview to Euronews. The deal has “lost its balance” due to the US withdrawal, he added, so “if Europeans, and other remaining participants of the JCPOA are interested in Iran remaining in the deal, they should compensate [for] the absence of the US, and the re-imposition of US sanctions.”

READ MORE: Iran vows to reopen Fordow uranium enrichment plant if nuclear deal collapses

Tehran has repeatedly stated that it wants to salvage the deal, but has expressed frustration over European proposals for preserving the accord. Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), said on Tuesday that Europe’s proposals to save the deal after the US withdrawal were not acceptable to Tehran. “If it continues like this, all sides will lose,” Salehi said.

The European Union is considering a range of options to help breathe life into the faltering deal. Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s chief diplomat, said in May that the bloc was considering deepening Europe’s economic ties with Iran, shielding banking transactions with Tehran, and maintaining Iranian oil and gas purchases – as well as using EU finance to boost investment in the Middle East country. Like Araghchi, she likened the nuclear deal to “a relative in intensive care.”

Read more

FILE PHOTO: Oil production platform at the Soroush oil fields in the Persian Gulf, south of Tehran © Raheb Homavandi

But the desire of some European states to widen the scope of the accord has angered Tehran. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have been trying to broaden the terms of the agreement to cover Iran’s ballistic missile program and involvement in regional conflicts. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in June that “limiting our missile development is a dream that will never come true.”

Tehran has repeatedly warned that the deal’s collapse will prompt it to bolster its uranium-enrichment program. In June, Khamenei ordered the AEOI to prepare the Natanz facility for resuming the enrichment process. The installation is expected to be ready to house 60 enrichment centrifuges in a month, according to Iranian officials. The decision to resume the enrichment process does not violate the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the country is allowed to enrich small amounts of uranium for medical and research purposes. However, if the deal collapses, Tehran says it will reopen a second uranium-enrichment facility in Fordow.

In May, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the deal. He called the historic accord – which saw Iran curbing its nuclear military program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions – deeply flawed and demanded a revised deal that would both limit Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its increasing influence in regional affairs.

A Canadian U-Turn on Iran?

June 22, 2018

Congress Seeks to Ban Iran From International Financial System

June 22, 2018

Lawmakers encourage blacklist as a result of Iran’s continued money laundering efforts and financial support to terror groups

President Hassan Rouhani in front of a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

President Hassan Rouhani in front of a portrait of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / Getty Images

BY:

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/congress-seeks-ban-iran-international-financial-system/

Leading members of Congress are urging the Trump administration to pressure world leaders to ban Iran from accessing international financial systems following revelations the former Obama administration secretly helped Tehran skirt international sanctions to potentially access billions in hard currency, according to a letter sent Thursday to the Treasury Departments.

Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) and Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) are petitioning the Trump administration to urge members of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international organization formed to combat money laundering, to put Iran back on its blacklist as a result of the country’s ongoing support for terrorism.

Iran was taken off the FATF blacklist as part of a package of incentives provided by the Obama administration to Iran in order to help pave the way for the landmark nuclear deal killed by President Trump earlier this year.

Lawmakers are demanding that Iran be put back on FATF’s blacklist as a result of its continued money laundering efforts and financial support to terror groups across the Middle East, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and other militants operating in the region.

Portman and Royce—chair of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, respectively—say that recent revelations from a congressional investigation into the Obama administration’s secret diplomacy on Iran’s behalf make it all the more important for the current administration to take concrete action against Iran’s terror support networks.

FATF members will meet next week in Paris, where the lawmakers hope to see this issue raised by the Trump administration.

“This upcoming FATF session is particularly important following the recent release of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ report exposing new details about the previous administration’s efforts to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system, including through consideration of a general license for the ‘conversion of two non-USD currencies through the limited use of the USD as an intermediate currency,'” the lawmakers write in the letter, which was sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“In the push to save its deeply flawed nuclear deal, the Obama administration unwisely backed a wide range of economic relief for Iran—including through the FATF,” the lawmakers note. “In June 2016, the administration supported the FATF’s decision to suspend ‘counter-measures’ against Iran for one year, following Tehran’s submission of an Action Plan to the FATF to address deficiencies in its anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing policies.”

Restrictions on Iran are still being lifted every six months by FATF, despite Trump’s decision to abandon the deal and pursue tough new sanctions on Tehran. The lawmakers argue that Iran must be placed back on FATF’s blacklist due to its increasing support for terror groups.

“For the last two years, the FATF has continued to suspend these countermeasures at six-month intervals, despite the continued dangerous and belligerent actions of the Iranian regime,” the lawmakers write. “Many reports have indicated the regime in Tehran actually increased financial support for its terror proxies in the wake of the nuclear deal.”

Iran has skirted restrictions on terror financing by designating its cash for groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah as “legitimate popular resistance against colonial domination and foreign occupation,” the lawmakers note.

This has allowed “Iran to continue financing terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezbollah,” according to the letter.

“It’s time to recognize that Iran has failed to take the necessary steps—despite its pledges two years ago—to be removed from the list of FATF’s high-risk and non-cooperative jurisdictions,” the letter states. “The United States should now utilize its influence within the FATF to reimpose countermeasures against Iran and protect the international financial system.”

Russia Promises ‘Tough Response’ to Creation of US Space Force

June 22, 2018

If President Trump executes his plans to create a U.S. Space Force, there will be repercussions, promise Russian diplomats and politicians.

By Alicia Powe June 21, 2018 Via Gateway Pundit

Source Link: Russia Promises ‘Tough Response’ to Creation of US Space Force

{Sound familiar? This is similar to the SDI initiative Reagan used in negotiating with the Soviet Union. The reaction we see from Putin is not surprising. They couldn’t afford it then and they cannot afford it now. – LS}

The president declared Monday that the United States must return to outpacing China and Russia as competitors in space exploration and directed Pentagon leadership to create a a sixth, space-oriented branch within the U.S. military.

Russia warns Trump it will retaliate if the president proceeds to build a U.S. Space Force, arguing the development of military presence in outer space would disregard a treaty banning nuclear weapons in outer space

“Militarization of outer space is the path to disaster,” Victor Bondarev, head of the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Committee on Defense and Security, told state media Tuesday.”Let’s hope the American political elite still have the remnants of reason and common sense.”

“But if the United States withdraws from the 1967 treaty banning nuclear weapons in outer space, then, of course, not only ours, but also other states, will follow with a tough response aimed at ensuring world security,” he said, referencing the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

According to the U.S. State Department’s archives, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is one of several “non-armament” treaties that sought to prevent “a new form of colonial competition” in the cosmos.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also criticized the formation of an American space force Wednesday.

“What makes this piece of news most alarming is the purpose of the instruction was described in very clear terms — dominance in space,” Zakharova told state media.

“Naturally, we keep the closest watch on Washington’s intentions and analyze the likely effects,” she added. “A military buildup in space, in particular, after the deployment of weapons there, would have destabilizing effects on strategic stability and international security.“

While Russia does have a branch of the military described as “space forces,” their activities are “purely defensive,” the spokeswoman said. “Our country is not interested in tackling any tasks in space with the use of attack weapons,” Zakharova said.

Former Secret Service Agent Files RICO Suit Against Clintons, Soros, Podesta, Brock

June 22, 2018

Conspiracy theorists (and conspiracy factists) are running wild as infamously outspoken former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne has filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) suit against what some call the Democrat Deep State.

Defendants in the case include:

CLINTON FOUNDATION, CLINTON-GIUSTRA ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIP, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA, CORRECT THE RECORD, AMERICAN BRIDGE 21ST CENTURY, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON, SHAREBLUE, DAVID BROCK, WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, GEORGE SOROS, JOHN PODESTA, JONATHAN WACKROW, JAN GILOOLY and CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE.

Quite a rogue’s gallery.

Here’s the summary of Byrne’s case…

For the past decade in which relevant predicate acts were corruptly carried out by the named defendants as “payback” for Plaintiff Gary Byrne’s role in the Clinton impeachment and his status as a “Clinton enemy” (for his temerity in telling the truth concerning obstruction of justice and gross abuse of power), along with their corrupt surrogates and collaborators (referenced individually and collectively as the “Enterprise”), David Brock and William and Hillary Clinton have been synonymous with criminal  behavior, malicious baseless attacks (using mainly the illicit and vicious defamatory tactics against  perceived political enemies (like Officer Gary Byrne, the Plaintiff here) of those willing to compensate  participants like Brock) – and coordinating by mail and wire to violate myriad Federal and State laws in the exploitation of Enterprise nonprofit entities they use for purely partisan purposes.

This Enterprise has taken such attacks to an unprecedented and chilling new level – involving illegal domestic human and electronic surveillance, and tradecraft such as “lures” run at Byrne in order to obstruct the Hillary Clinton e-mail and Clinton Foundation Investigations by the agencies of the Obama government, all against private citizens in order to assist Hillary Clinton become the 45th President of the United States, destroy Gary Byrne, and enrich themselves. According to investigations of the United States Congress, and as anticipated to emerge from numerous ongoing government investigations, Hillary Clinton and certain other Enterprise named and unknown named, and high-level surrogates, colluded with Russian intelligence (SVR and FSB) and a disgraced (and according to a referral from the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a putative criminal) former British intelligence officer (Christopher Steele) to accomplish their illicit and unconstitutional objectives. These Enterprise defendants, surrogates and  participants have their opportunity to properly respond before a court they knowingly misled many times using the most powerful counterintelligence tools available. Let them do so now.

Ten years ago, defendant Brock’s malfeasance became more precisely organized in the Enterprise, and thus fully weaponized, as he joined forces with former president William Jefferson Clinton (“William Clinton” or “President Clinton”), Hillary Rodham Clinton and funder George Soros (“Soros”), and at various stages of the illegal Enterprise, the other defendants named here. They, and the Enterprise they formed to control the Democratic Party, took illicit advantage of a previously inviolate structural arrangement (between all three branches of our government) codified in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) by arranging for payment through smear merchants Fusion GPS to the Russian SVR and FSB and British (former) agent Christopher Steele (“Steele”). To abolish their enemies, in other words, the Enterprise defendants were willing to defy all legal and constitutional dictates – including certain actors within the Obama Department of Justice ineffably misleading Article III colleagues resident in this very Court.

This is sedition, bordering on treason, and patently illegal.

The presiding judge – Paul L. Friedman – is a Bill Clinton appointee.

Of course this is a civil filing, which is something anyone can file for anything, so don’t start the ‘lock her up’ chants quite yet.

As a reminder, here is Mr.Byrne’s view of Clinton et al. from two years ago

Following the release of former secret service officer Gary Byrne’s book in 2016, Clinton campaign officials have tried to play down his accusations with ad hominum attacks at Byrne as opposed to denying any of his allegations. However, as his book gains traction, RealClearPolitics reports that during his appearance of FOX News’ Hannity show, Byrne talked Hillary Clinton’s temperament, her “terrified staff,” Bill Clinton carrying on affairs, drug use in the White House and more with host Sean Hannity. Byrne said Clinton was feared by her staff and was notorious for her yelling. Byrne told Hannity that she has “blown up” at him and other Secret Service agents…

“She gets angry at things that are policy issues that, you know, take time to fix, and she’s got this attitude where she wants things fixed right now, immediately. She screams and yells at people,”

“There’s many examples that I site in my book where she blows up at people,” Byrne said. “Like I’ve said, she has blown up at me before, and agents, and her staff. At one time, I saw her staff so afraid to tell her about a mistake that was made. They weren’t upset about the waste of the mistake, ordering the wrong invitations, they were terrified that someone was going to have to tell Hillary Clinton that there was a mistake made.

Byrne says Clinton’s behavior during his tenure in the Secret Service proved to him that she does not have the temperament for the Oval office.

BYRNE: I feel so strongly that people need to know the real Hillary Clinton and how dangerous she is in her behavior. She is not a leader. She is not a leader.

SEAN: She does not have the temperament?

BYRNE: She doesn’t have the temperament. She didn’t have the temperament to handle the social office when she was First Lady, she does not have the temperament.

SEAN: She’s dishonest.

BYRNE: She’s dishonest, she habitually lies, anybody that can separate themselves from their politics and review her behavior over the past 15 years…

SEAN: You’re going to be accused of being political.

BYRNE: Absolutely I’m sure I will be, I have already and it’s not.

SEAN: And what’s your answer?

Byrne: It’s got nothing to do as politics.

Byrne talked wrote about then-President Bill Clinton’s behavior, accusing him of carrying on multiple affairs and gave his perspective on the Monica Lewinsky affair and the scandal as it was happening. Byrne talked about several different affairs and how the Secret Service was expected to clean up after him.

HANNITY: How many women do you know, for sure, that he had affairs with in the Oval Office?

BYRNE: In the White House complex? I’d say easily three, maybe four, that I know of.

HANNITY: And you could see Monica Lewinsky from a mile away?

BYRNE: Sure. Sure.

HANNITY: You knew she wanted to be near him.

BYRNE: She was certainly manipulated some of the staff, other officers, myself to find out where he was—

HANNITY: She wasn’t manipulating if you saw through it.

BYRNE: Yeah, I agree. But I saw through it right away, but she was trying to place herself in his path, as he would move throughout the complex.

Byrne talks drug use in the White House:

HANNITY: Before I get into all the issues involving Bill and Hillary and what she knew and didn’t know and covering up and lying and you being put in the middle of all this. People use drugs the at the White House?

BYRNE: There were some issues. One of the ones I comment in my book, and I’m very careful not to tell too much about it because I don’t want — hopefully this person got on with their lives and lived a healthy life. But there was one particular staff member that they had come in in the morning, and they’d be so beat up and exhausted looking, worn out, exhausted to the point where they couldn’t be seen saying good morning. And they’d go in their office and go the bathroom and come out of the bathroom completely elevated and happy and smiling.

HANNITY: It was obvious you thought coke was being used?

BYRNE: I did. And later on, I was told that this particular person actually, they did something similar to an intervention and got her help and got her to a clinic, and I never did see her again. But I understand she did all right.

 

Netanyahu’s water tech offer draws wave of Iranian support

June 22, 2018

This is a follow up to this post:

https://warsclerotic.com/2018/06/12/netanhyahu-offers-water-tech-to-iranians/

Looks like there has been a strong, positive response from the Iranian people.

So there is hope, after all….

Netanyahu’s water tech offer draws wave of Iranian support

http://www.israelhayom.com/2018/06/18/netanyahus-water-tech-offer-draws-wave-of-iranian-support/

Some 100,000 Iranians join Israel’s Farsi-language Telegram account as a result of PM Netanyahu’s video offering Iranians water tech to combat country’s water crisis

Iranian internet users hail Israel: “We wish them death, they bless us with life.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s video offering to share Israeli water technology with the Iranians racked up 5 million views in the first five days it was online, 1.6 million of which were on Netanyahu’s own social media channels.

Perhaps more significantly, nearly 100,000 Iranians joined the Israeli government’s Farsi-language Telegram account within 24 hours of the video going live.

All in all, this was the second-most watched Netanyahu video, after a presentation in April in which Netanyahu unveiled an Iranian nuclear archive smuggled out of Iran by Israeli agents.

In the video, posted a week ago, Netanyahu addresses the Iranian people directly, offering to teach Iran how to manage its water resources.

In the video, Netanyahu pours himself a glass of water and says, “I want to help save countless Iranian lives. Here’s how: Iran’s meteorological organization says that nearly 96% of Iran suffers from some levels of drought.”

“Israel has the know-how to prevent environmental catastrophe in Iran. I want to share this information with the people of Iran. Sadly, Iran bans Israelis from visiting,” Netanyahu says in the video.

Netanyahu also said that Israel would be setting up a Farsi website that would teach the Iranian people how to recycle water.

The video received wide media coverage in Iran, including on the state news agency IRNA and the website of Radio Farda (the most popular station in the country) and Radio Zaman.

However, news agencies affiliated with the Iranian regime were, unsurprisingly, critical of Netanyahu’s video. The ISNA agency claimed that “while the residents of Gaza are suffering because the Zionist regime took away their water, the leader of the Zionist regime announces that he wants to help the Iranians overcome the drought.”

The coverage of the video was so widespread that even the regime itself was forced to discuss it. Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian told reporters on Wednesday that Iran was not in need of any external help to solve its water crisis, adding that “the prime minister of this regime [Israel] or anyone else who claims to have the ability to manage water resources is aware that Iran is a country that has a proven record going back thousands of years in the field.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Barham Qassemi attacked Netanyahu, saying that Tehran had no need for a “trickster” to solve its water shortage problem.

While the Tehran regime rejected Israel’s offer, Iranian Internet users welcomed the idea and leveled criticism at their own government.

One user commented, “We wish them [Israelis] death and they bless us with life. I am ashamed to be Iranian.”

Another posted: “God will bless Israel and Netanyahu. I’m sure that Iran and Israel will once again be allies.”