Archive for the ‘IAEA’ category

Viewing Enemy Regimes as They Are, Not as We Wish They Were

October 10, 2017

Viewing Enemy Regimes as They Are, Not as We Wish They Were, Gatestone InstitutePeter Huessy, April 10, 2017

Experience has shown that soft rhetoric and so-called “smart diplomacy” have served only to enable North Korea and Iran to produce more nuclear weapons and better ballistic missiles.

Not only has the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) been prevented from monitoring Iranian compliance, but it is not pushing the issue for fear that “Washington would use an Iranian refusal as an excuse to abandon the JCPOA.”

During his first press conference after taking office in January 1981, US President Ronald Reagan called détente a “one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims.” Echoing this remark while addressing reporters later the same day, Secretary of State Alexander Haig said that the Soviets were the source of much support for international terrorism, especially in Latin and Central America.

The following day, both Reagan and Haig were criticized for their remarks, with members of the media describing the president’s words as “reminiscent of the chilliest days of the Cold War,” and appalled that the administration’s top diplomat was accusing the Russians of backing terrorist activities.

Nearly four decades later, in spite of the successful defeat of the Soviet empire, the White House is still frowned upon when it adopts a tough stance towards America’s enemies. Today’s outrage is directed at President Donald Trump’s warnings about — and to — North Korea and Iran. The Washington Post called his recent “fire and fury” threats to Pyongyang a “rhetorical grenade,” for example, echoing top Democrats’ attacks on his remarks for being “reckless” and “irresponsible.”

Critics of Trump’s attitude towards Tehran go equally far, describing his opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the nuclear deal with Iran — as “rushing headlong into war.”

Trump’s detractors, however, are just as wrong as those who berated Reagan in 1981. Experience has shown that soft rhetoric and so-called “smart diplomacy” have served only to enable North Korea and Iran to produce more nuclear weapons and better ballistic missiles.

Although the JCPOA stipulates that Iran is not permitted to produce more than a certain quantity of enriched uranium or to enrich uranium beyond a certain level, not only has the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) been prevented from monitoring Iranian compliance, but it is not pushing the issue for fear that “Washington would use an Iranian refusal as an excuse to abandon the JCPOA.”

Furthermore, among its many other flaws, the JCPOA does not address Iran’s ballistic-missile capabilities or financing of global terrorism.

Nevertheless, it is the administration’s rhetoric that is under attack. Isn’t it high time for the media and foreign-policy establishment to wake up to the reality that seeing regimes as they are, rather than as we wish them to be, is the only way to confront our enemies effectively, and with the least number of casualties?

Peter Huessy is president of GeoStrategic Analysis, a defense consulting firm he founded in 1981

The Iran Deal Isn’t Worth Saving

October 8, 2017

The Iran Deal Isn’t Worth Saving, Gatestone InstituteJohn R. Bolton, October 8, 2017

(The chances of renegotiating the JCPOA to make it less harmful to America appear to be close to zero. — DM)

[T]he deal’s acolytes are actively obscuring this central issue, arguing that it is too arduous and too complex to withdraw cleanly. They have seized instead on a statutory requirement that every 90 days the president must certify, among other things, that adhering to the agreement is in America’s national-security interest. They argue the president should stay in the deal but not make the next certification, due in October.

This morganatic strategy is a poorly concealed ploy to block withdrawal, limp through Mr. Trump’s presidency, and resurrect the deal later. Paradoxically, supporters are not now asserting that the deal is beneficial. Instead, they concede its innumerable faults but argue that it can be made tougher, more verifiable and more strictly enforced. Or, if you want more, it can be extended, kicked to Congress, or deferred during the North Korea crisis. Whatever.

The only sure way to resume economic pressure on Iran is for President Trump to stop waiving the sanctions, as he did a few weeks ago. The power to act is in executive hands, as it should be.

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“Cut, and cut cleanly,” Sen. Paul Laxalt advised Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, urging the Philippine president to resign and flee Manila because of widespread civil unrest. The Nevada Republican, Ronald Reagan’s best friend in Congress, knew what his president wanted, and he made the point with customary Western directness.

President Trump could profitably follow Mr. Laxalt’s advice today regarding Barack Obama’s 2015 deal with Iran. The ayatollahs are using Mr. Obama’s handiwork to legitimize their terrorist state, facilitate (and conceal) their continuing nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile programs, and acquire valuable resources from gullible negotiating partners.

Mr. Trump’s real decision is whether to fulfill his campaign promise to extricate America from this strategic debacle. Last month at the United Nations General Assembly, he lacerated the deal as an “embarrassment,” “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.”

Last month at the United Nations General Assembly, President Donald Trump lacerated the Iran nuclear deal as an “embarrassment,” “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.” (Image source: The White House)

Fearing the worst, however, the deal’s acolytes are actively obscuring this central issue, arguing that it is too arduous and too complex to withdraw cleanly. They have seized instead on a statutory requirement that every 90 days the president must certify, among other things, that adhering to the agreement is in America’s national-security interest. They argue the president should stay in the deal but not make the next certification, due in October.

This morganatic strategy is a poorly concealed ploy to block withdrawal, limp through Mr. Trump’s presidency, and resurrect the deal later. Paradoxically, supporters are not now asserting that the deal is beneficial. Instead, they concede its innumerable faults but argue that it can be made tougher, more verifiable and more strictly enforced. Or, if you want more, it can be extended, kicked to Congress, or deferred during the North Korea crisis. Whatever.

As Richard Nixon said during Watergate: “I want you to stonewall it, let them plead the Fifth Amendment, cover up, or anything else if it’ll save it — save the plan.”

Mr. Trump should not be deceived. The issue is not certification. The issue is whether we will protect U.S. interests and shatter the illusion that Mr. Obama’s deal is achieving its stated goals, or instead timidly hope for the best while trading with the enemy, as the Europeans are doing. It is too cute by half to employ pettifoggery to evade this reality.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 embodies the deal and includes two annexes: the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action itself, and a statement by the other negotiating parties on “transparency… creating an atmosphere conducive” to full JCPOA implementation. Resolution 2231, the JCPOA and the statement were all crafted word-for-word with Iran (with Russia and China acting as Tehran’s scriveners on the statement), as was the cash-for-hostages swap Mr. Obama sought desperately to conceal. This packaging is more than a diplomatic nicety. It means Iran’s ballistic-missile program is integral to the deal — fittingly, since Iran’s missiles would deliver its nuclear warheads.

The ayatollahs have neither the desire nor the incentive to renegotiate even a comma of the agreement. Why should they, when it is entirely to their advantage? Both Resolution 2231 and the statement, for example, “call upon” Iran to forgo activity regarding “ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” The U.N. secretary-general recently reported that Iran is violating this provision and implicitly lying about it. But the deal’s language allows Iran to claim solemnly that its missiles are not “designed” to carry nuclear warheads, an assertion whose verification would require polygraphs and psychologists, not weapons inspectors. This is one of many textual loopholes.

If the deal is vitiated, Tehran would not be freer than it is now to pursue nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Not only is the international compliance regime a far cry from Mr. Obama’s promised “anytime, anywhere” inspections, crucial language is vague and ambiguous. Mr. Obama’s negotiators crippled real international verification by pre-emptively surrendering on what were delicately termed “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program.

Moreover, simple economic logic suggests that Tehran’s scientists are probably enjoying Pyongyang’s hospitality, well beyond the International Atomic Energy Agency’s limited capability to detect. Even U.S. intelligence could be in the dark if Iran is renting a uranium enrichment facility under a North Korean mountain. It is specious to assert that the North Korean nuclear crisis should lead to deferring action on the Iran deal. The conclusion should be precisely the opposite: Failure to act decisively on Iran now worsens the global proliferation threat.

The IAEA has interpreted Mr. Obama’s possible-military-dimension concession as requiring new evidence before it attempts to visit Tehran’s military bases, where the real work on weaponization and missiles is taking place—if not under mountains in North Korea. Mr. Obama acquiesced in this emasculation of the IAEA’s will to inspect, making the agency today like the drunk looking for his car keys under a street lamp because the light is better there. This is a sorry caricature of a robust, Reaganesque “trust but verify” regime.

Perhaps the most inane argument is that Congress should decide the deal’s fate and whether to reimpose U.S. sanctions. If a president is unwilling to solve this kind of problem, he shouldn’t have applied for the job. Watching what has happened on failed legislative efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare, can anyone doubt that Senate Democrats (joined by Rand Paul) would filibuster any legislative effort to renew sanctions? The only sure way to resume economic pressure on Iran is for President Trump to stop waiving the sanctions, as he did a few weeks ago. The power to act is in executive hands, as it should be.

Mr. Trump knows his mind on Iran. And as Mr. Laxalt said to Marcos, “the time has come” to act decisively.

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is Chairman of Gatestone Institute, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and author of “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad”.

This article first appeared in The Wall Street Journal and is reprinted here with the kind permission of the author.

Time for Trump to Decertify the Iran Deal

October 5, 2017

Time for Trump to Decertify the Iran Deal, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, October 4, 2017

(President Trump has two options: (1) he can certify that Iran is not developing nukes and is also in compliance with the JCPOA in all other respects or (2) he can decline to do so. In view of the acknowledged inability of the IAEA to conduct meaningful inspections of military and other non-designated sites, President Trump has no way to determine that Iran is not developing nukes. In the absence of even minimal evidence that Iran is not developing nukes, it seems very unlikely that he will certify compliance.

President Trump does not need to go so far as to certify that Iran is not in compliance, as he should perhaps explain to Tillerson, Mattis et al. Any belief held by Tillerson, Mattis et al that, regardless of the lack of evidence of Iranian compliance, the Iran scam is a “good deal” for America is irrelevant. — DM)

Mideast Iran Nuclear Deal

Last week IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] chief Amano revealed the IAEA has been unable to verify Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, specifically Section T which prohibits certain activities related to “the design and development of a nuclear explosive device,” because Iran has barred inspectors from military sites where those activities would be occurring . . . .

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For all the talk of “morons” Wednesday — did Rex Tillerson call Donald Trump a moron and what does that mean, if anything — the real issue for those not transfixed by media gotcha games is the certification, or not, of something truly moronic:  the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA).

In normal times, devoid of mass murderers and endless natural disasters, the looming October 15 certification decision on this deal would be front and center in the national consciousness.  It still should be because, ultimately, it is even more important than hurricanes and psychopathic killers. It’s about nuclear war.

The biggest mistake of the Obama years was not the Affordable Care Act — that can be fixed eventually — but the Iran deal, which has already resulted in massive catastrophe, causing irreparable damage. Iran, financially enriched by the agreement, has been able to play a growing and truly evil role throughout the Middle East (and even South America), but especially in the unending Syrian civil war through its brutal own Revolutionary Guard and its bloodthirsty Hezbollah cutouts. This war has undoubtedly changed the character of Europe forever by creating millions of refugees. Every one of our lives has been or will be affected by it, directly or indirectly. (Reminder: One of the Paris Bataclan theatre terrorists who slaughtered 130, more than twice Las Vegas, held a Syrian refugee passport.) Even now, as ISIS is being pushed back, Iran, not us or our allies, is moving in to take control of their territory. We can be sure the mullahs will use it to build children’s hospitals and cancer research institutes — either that or murder thousands more in the name of the Twelfth Imam.

Obama’s motivation to make this deal, to choose the mullahs’ side in the more than thousand-year-old Shiite-Sunni blood feud that comes to us as a horrifying ghost from the pre-Middle Ages, remains one of the great mysteries of our time. It was the kind of agreement only State Department bureaucrats could love or, for that matter, see. In that sense, the Iran Deal is a perfect “Swamp” agreement. Nobody really knows what’s in it, deliberately so — just like the Affordable Care Act, actually. Only in this instance, Nancy Pelosi did not have to tell us to sign it to know what’s in it, because it was never signed in the first place — nor intended to be.  It was simply put in place — Constitution be damned — over the heads of an impotent Congress by Obama and his claque of unwise wise men and women.

But that was then and this is now. According to The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo:

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will not formally certify Iran as in compliance with the landmark nuclear agreement, a move that could kill the agreement and set the stage for Congress to reimpose harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to multiple U.S. officials and sources familiar with the situation.

While some senior Trump administration officials—including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—are pushing for President Donald Trump to preserve the deal, it has become increasingly clear the president is frustrated with Iran’s continued tests of ballistic missile technology and rogue operations targeting U.S. forces in the region, according to these sources.

Let’s hope that Tillerson and Mattis won’t prevail if that really is still their opinion. You would think given Kim Jung-un getting almost as much media attention for his missiles as Stephen Paddock for his guns, and the longtime documented alliance on military matters of Iran and North Korea, they would be ready for another strategy. After all, looked at from afar (actually not that far) the JCPOA mirrors the approach many administrations took to North Korea. There are minor differences, but they all came down to “give them some money so they play nice.” How did that turn out? Perhaps I’m naive, but getting tough with tough guys for a change just might be worth a try.

It seems that Trump gets this. According to Eli Lake: “The centerpiece of Trump’s new Iran strategy will be the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, placing it in the same category as al Qaeda and the Islamic State.”

The Revolutionary Guard is responsible for approximately 15 percent of Iranian GNP. Designating them a terror organization, which they indubitably are, would result in a substantial financial hit to the mullahs. The Swamp, of course, will object. That’s not how the game is played. But the truth is, the Swamp game is destructive to our country and the West, not mention factually absurd.

Omri Ceren, whose ongoing reporting on this “deal” has been invaluable (as has the work of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz), explained why in a recent email:

Last week IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] chief Amano revealed the IAEA has been unable to verify Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, specifically Section T which prohibits certain activities related to “the design and development of a nuclear explosive device,” because Iran has barred inspectors from military sites where those activites would be occurring,

Deal? What deal?

Your turn, Mr. President.

Omni Ceren: Decertification Approaches

September 28, 2017

Omni Ceren: Decertification Approaches, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, September 28, 2017

Omri Ceren writes to comment on the Reuters story by Francois Murphy reporting that “IAEA chief calls for clarity on disputed section of Iran nuclear deal.” Omri’s commentary on the story — please check it out — should serve as a preview of coming attractions. He writes:

This is pretty close to game over on certification.

Condition 1 of Corker-Cardin requires the president to certify “Iran is transparently, verifiably, and fully implementing the agreement” [a]. One part of the agreement – Annex 1, Section T – prohibits Iran from conducting certain “activities which could contribute to the design and development of a nuclear explosive device” [b].

The IAEA has not been able to verify Iran is implementing Section T because the relevant activities would be occurring on military sites and Iran has barred the IAEA from inspecting those sites [c][d][e]. IAEA officials say they won’t even ask for access because they know Iran would say no and it would give the Trump administration an “excuse” on the deal [f].

The policy community has known about this failure for months: in August nuclear experts from FDD and ISIS published a report that concluded “it is likely that some of the conditions in Section T are not currently being met and may in fact be violated by Iran” [g].

Yesterday IAEA chief Amano confirmed the IAEA has indeed been unable to verify Iran is implementing Section T….Here are the Amano quotes:

“Our tools are limited,” Amano told Reuters when asked if his agency had the means to verify Section T. “In other sections, for example, Iran has committed to submit declarations, place their activities under safeguards or ensure access by us. But in Section T I don’t see any (such commitment).” Amano said he hoped the parties to the agreement would discuss the issue in the Joint Commission.

Advocates of the Iran deal respond that the IAEA hasn’t found any Iranian violations [h]. 1st, that’s not relevant for certification: condition 1 requires the president to certify Iran has implemented all parts of the agreement, not that Iran hasn’t been caught cheating on the parts they have implemented. 2nd, the IAEA hasn’t caught Iran cheating because they haven’t been able to look where Iran is cheating: last week lawmakers on Senate Intelligence suggested to the Weekly Standard they’ve seen classified reports that Iran is violating the deal [i].

[a] https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/615/text
[b] https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245318.pdf
[c] https://financialtribune.com/articles/national/69753/us-demand-for-military-inspections-rejected
[d] http://kayhan.ir/en/news/42609
[e] http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=1396052200040
[f] https://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN1BB1JC-OCATP
[g] http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/verifying-section-t-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal
[h] http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2017/sep/14/debate-nuclear-deal-us
[i] http://www.weeklystandard.com/cotton-on-iran-nuclear-deal-i-simply-do-not-see-how-we-can-certify/article/2009716

EXCLUSIVE – Former IAEA Deputy Director: Agency Has ‘Credibility’ Issue on Iran Nuclear Inspections

September 19, 2017

EXCLUSIVE – Former IAEA Deputy Director: Agency Has ‘Credibility’ Issue on Iran Nuclear Inspections, Breitbart, Aaron
Klein
, September 18, 2017

NEW YORK — A former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised questions about the credibility of that agency’s inspection and verification system for Iran’s nuclear program as required under the U.S.-brokered international nuclear accord with Tehran.

Speaking in a radio interview with this reporter, Dr. Olli Heinonen, former deputy director general of the IAEA and head of its Department of Safeguards, questioned how the IAEA can credibly inspect Iran’s nuclear program without gaining access to Iranian military bases.

Heinonen made the comments last night on his talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia.

The IAEA, headquartered in Vienna, is an international body that reports to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. It is the agency charged with ensuring Iran is complying with the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Heinonen said he was “concerned” about the lack of IAEA access to Iran’s military bases.

He continued:

Military bases should not be sanctuaries. There is a special provision in the deal which asks the IAEA to monitor certain activities, so-called dual-use activities which can also be used for nuclear weapons purposes. IAEA has assessed that it has now verified that undertaking from Iran.

So it is hard for me to understand how you can verify that undertaking without visiting a military site and this is the most puzzling thing. And it goes to the credibility of the verification system.

How can the IAEA conclude that there have been no undeclared activities highlighted in JCPOA in those locations? This needs to be clarified and explained by the IAEA.

Last month, the IAEA declared that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal. However, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki R. Haley and other administration officials have argued that the IAEA should have access to Iran’s nuclear bases.

Last week, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, ruled out any possibility of international access to Iran’s military bases, declaring the issue an “unnecessary and closed case.”

Also last week, Haaretz cited Israeli officials revealing that a “Western entity” provided the IAEA last year with information regarding sites that Iran did not officially report as part of its nuclear program and where Tehran is suspected of carrying out activities related to nuclear capabilities, including research and development.

While one such alleged site was a civilian facility, the report stated that Iran did not allow access to other sites, claiming they were military bases.

Haaretz reported:

Iranians refused to allow inspectors to visit a series of other suspicious sites, claiming they were military bases and, therefore, not covered by the nuclear accord and that they were not required to allow access to inspectors.

McMaster Says Iran Has Violated Parts of Nuclear Deal: ‘They’re Crossing the Line’

September 18, 2017

McMaster Says Iran Has Violated Parts of Nuclear Deal: ‘They’re Crossing the Line’, Washinton Free Beacon, September 18, 2017

(Please see also, Trump considers ending Iran deal ahead of key deadline.– DM)

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday that Iran has already violated parts of the nuclear deal, adding, “They’re crossing the line at times.”

“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace noted that President Donald Trump, who lambastes the deal brokered by the Obama administration, has had the opportunity to re-impose sanctions that were lifted as part of the agreement but has not yet done so.

“I know he has to recertify in October whether or not they are complying with it, all this talk about tearing up the agreement, in fact, isn’t he going to live with it and try to find other ways to confront Iran on other fronts?” Wallace asked.

Well, we have to see what live with it means, right?” McMaster said. “Live with can’t be giving this regime cover to develop a nuclear capability. And so, a lot of things have to happen immediately, rigorous enforcement of that agreement. It is under-enforced now. We know Iran has already violated parts of the agreement by—”

“But the IAEA says that they’re complying with it, sir,” Wallace said.

Well, the IAEA has identified and we’ve identified some of these breaches that Iran has then corrected,” McMaster said. “But what does that tell you about Iranian behavior? They’re not just walking up to the line on the agreement. They’re crossing the line at times.”

McMaster said there has to be far more rigorous enforcement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and recognition of its flaws.

“As the president said, it is the worst deal,” McMaster said. “It gave all these benefits to the Iranian regime up front, and these benefits now they’re using to foment this humanitarian catastrophe in the greater Middle East.”

The Washington Free Beacon reported last month that Iran was caught violating the deal by shipping soldiers to Syria on commercial flights. It has also expanded its ballistic missile technology.

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, lending support to groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. It has proxy forces in Iraq and bolsters the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

Trump has reportedly been weighing a strategy to more aggressively respond to Iranian forces and its terror support.

President Barack Obama insisted the deal was the best way to stop Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, although he acknowledged in 2015 that the theocracy’s breakout time could well be zero months when the deal’s provisions expire.

PM to present Trump with ‘concrete ideas’ on Iran deal

September 18, 2017

PM to present Trump with ‘concrete ideas’ on Iran deal, Israel Hayom, Gideon Allon, September 18, 2017

(Please see also, Trump considers ending Iran deal ahead of key deadline. –DM)

As PM Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to discuss Iranian threat with U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, Israeli media reports that the IAEA failed to investigate undisclosed, suspected nuclear sites in Iran • Netanyahu meets with U.S. Jewish leaders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump during the latter’s visit to Israel | Photo: GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was busy Monday making final preparations for his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump later in the day, where he was expected to lobby against the Iran nuclear agreement.

Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Trump at 1 p.m. (8 p.m. Israel time), where the Israeli premier is expected to reiterate his call on the American president to amend or scrap the agreement reached between Iran and Western powers in July 2015.

As another deadline to certify that Iran is adhering to the agreement looms – by law, Iran’s compliance must be certified every 90 days – it appears that Trump may be amenable to Netanyahu’s demands. Trump has declared in the past that he did not wish to certify Iran’s compliance next month, putting the future of the deal in question.

Netanyahu’s office said Sunday that the prime minister planned to present Trump with “concrete ideas” as to how to change or reverse the nuclear agreement.

Netanyahu was also preparing for his address to the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for Tuesday. Efforts have reportedly been made to coordinate the key arguments of Netanyahu’s address, which will also focus on the Iranian threat, with those of the American president’s address, to avoid any obvious contradictions. This effort was a result of the gaps that emerged between the positions expressed by Netanyahu and Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama at last year’s general assembly.

Netanyahu’s address is expected to be shorter than in previous years, and include a direct appeal to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Netanyahu was preparing his address when Israeli paper Haaretz reported Sunday that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors failed to investigate information regarding a number of undeclared, suspected nuclear sites in Iran. The paper quoted officials as saying that “almost all the suspected sites have not been visited by IAEA inspectors – either because of Iran’s refusal to grant entry or U.N. officials’ reluctance to confront Iran on the issue.”

Besides his strong opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran, Netanyahu was expected to relay Israel’s concern over Iran’s presence in Syria, close to Israel’s northern border.

Upon landing in New York last week, Netanyahu reiterated the message that “Israel will not tolerate an Iranian presence at our northern border. It is a military presence that poses a threat not only to us, but also to our Arab neighbors and we will be forced to act against it.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu met on Sunday with leaders of the U.S. Jewish community. Representatives of the Reform and Conservative Jewish movements voiced disappointment at not being granted meetings with Netanyahu, wanting to discuss Jerusalem’s recent decision to scrap plans for an egalitarian prayer plaza at the Western Wall – a decision that drew the ire of many Reform and Conservative Jews in the U.S.