Archive for the ‘JCPOA compliance certification’ category

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Re -Imposition of Sanctions Pursuant to the May 8, 2018 National Security Presidential Memorandum Relating to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

May 9, 2018

U.S. Treasury Department 5-08-2018

Source: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Re -Imposition of Sanctions Pursuant to the May 8, 2018 National Security Presidential Memorandum R elating to the Joint Comprehen sive Plan of Action

{Here are the official details regarding sanctions and the JCPOA withdrawal. – LS}

Note: This document is in PDF format. Click HERE or the source link above to view.

Netanyahu says Israel obtained ‘half a ton’ of documents on Iran’s nuclear weapons program

April 30, 2018

By Guy Taylor – The Washington Times – Updated: 2:17 p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2018

Source Link:

{Absolutely amazing. – LS}

Israel’s prime minister says his government has obtained “half a ton” of secret Iranian documents proving the Tehran government once had a nuclear weapons program.

Calling it a “great intelligence achievement,” Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that the documents show that Iran lied about its nuclear ambitions before signing a 2015 deal with world powers.

Iran has denied ever seeking nuclear weapons.

In a nationally televised address, Netanyahu said Israel recently uncovered 55,000 documents and 183 CDs of information from Iran’s “nuclear archives.”

Speaking in English, perhaps with an international audience in mind, he says the material is filled with incriminating evidence showing the Iranian program, called “Project Amad,” was to develop a weapon.

President Donald Trump is to decide by May 12 whether to pull out of the international deal with Iran. Netanyahu has led calls for Trump to withdraw.

Can Corker and Cardin Face the Truth about Iran this Time?

January 13, 2018

Can Corker and Cardin Face the Truth about Iran this Time? PJ MediaRoger L Simon, January 12, 2018

Nowhere in all this does anyone have any real idea if the deal’s putative intention, seriously delaying Iran’s nuclear ambitions, was achieved even partly. It’s impossible to know because Iran (per the IAEA) does not permit inspection of its military sites and, even if it did, they refused to reveal the state of their nuclear development before the agreement was made in the first place, so no comparison can be made. (Incomprehensibly, the deal allowed them to do this.) Beyond that, the Iranians are buddies with the North Koreans. How much of the NORK’s technology, or nuclear material for that matter, has already changed hands we don’t know.

In other words, this is an agreement only a fascist ayatollah and or some politician lusting for a fake peace prize could love.

Now the challenge is with Congress. Not surprisingly, the House is ahead of the Senate on this, with Rep. Peter Roskam working on a bill that is closer to what is required.

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The Trump administration has allowed the Iran Deal to continue with only minor sanctions added  — but with an important caveat. This is the last time.

As with immigration, the president has thrown the proverbial ball back into Congress’s lap, hoping to obtain from the legislators a bill requiring a rewrite of the deal before he must certify again. Trump has made his bottom line clear on this new bill in a statement published Friday:

First, it must demand that Iran allow immediate inspections at all sites requested by international inspectors.

Second, it must ensure that Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon.

Third, unlike the nuclear deal, these provisions must have no expiration date. My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon—not just for ten years, but forever.

If Iran does not comply with any of these provisions, American nuclear sanctions would automatically resume.

Fourth, the legislation must explicitly state in United States law—for the first time—that long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs are inseparable, and that Iran’s development and testing of missiles should be subject to severe sanctions.

Will Congress have the courage to pass such a bill? The last time around, at the instigation of Sens. Bob Corker and Ben  Cardin, they enacted a proposal that allowed Obama’s widely criticized (let’s be honest and say absurd) agreement to circumvent the normal requirement of ratification by the legislature as a treaty.

The result: chaos and death. Iran, enriched to the tune of a hundred billion or so, almost two billion in untraceable cash, was able to run rampant across the Middle East through its drug-dealing terrorist client Hezbollah, the equally homicidal Hamas, the Houthis and its own Revolutionary Guard Corps of bloodthirsty fanatics.

It’s also clear — as we have seen recently via the protests in 80 or so Iranian cities — that little or none of these billions were spent on the Iranian people themselves. They all went into the accounts of the corrupt mullahs or to manufacture weapons to kill more people, extending the Syrian civil war and changing the character of Europe forever via the unprecedented refugee crisis.

This was so predictable it’s hard to believe someone with an IQ in triple digits would have believed it could have been otherwise — yet Corker, Cardin and almost the entire Democratic Party did. They all fell in line with Obama’s monstrous deal, believing, despite decades of evidence to the contrary, that people like Iranian officials Hassan Rouhani and Javad Zarif were actually “moderates.” To put it bluntly — how stupid can you get.

Nowhere in all this does anyone have any real idea if the deal’s putative intention, seriously delaying Iran’s nuclear ambitions, was achieved even partly. It’s impossible to know because Iran (per the IAEA) does not permit inspection of its military sites and, even if it did, they refused to reveal the state of their nuclear development before the agreement was made in the first place, so no comparison can be made. (Incomprehensibly, the deal allowed them to do this.) Beyond that, the Iranians are buddies with the North Koreans. How much of the NORK’s technology, or nuclear material for that matter, has already changed hands we don’t know.

In other words, this is an agreement only a fascist ayatollah and or some politician lusting for a fake peace prize could love.

Now the challenge is with Congress. Not surprisingly, the House is ahead of the Senate on this, with Rep. Peter Roskam working on a bill that is closer to what is required.

Whatever happens, the Europeans — particularly the Western Europeans — will be difficult. They are loathe to admit that Donald Trump, of all people, might be right about a crucial point of foreign policy, making them, once again, the weak appeasers of fascism. Also, they’re greedy and want to keep their business with the Iranians going.

And so, Sens. Corker and Cardin, our nation, indeed the world, turns its eyes to you. Are you ready to rescue your reputations with history?

Trump keeps Iran nuclear program, waives sanctions – for the last time

January 12, 2018

Trump keeps Iran nuclear program, waives sanctions – for the last time, DEBKAfile, January 12, 2018

Among the other entities blacklisted for sanctions are the Revolutionary Guards Corps cyber unit for repressing social media networks to suppress protest.

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US President Donald Trump Friday extended the waivers on Iran nuclear sanctions and kept alive the 2015 deal, but stressed this was for the last time – unless US and Europe can reach agreement on Iranian enrichment and ballistic missile development.  The US gave Europe 120 days to agree to overhaul the deal before the next deadline in May, or else the US would pull out. The US also imposed sanctions on 14 Iranian non-nuclear entities, including the powerful head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters. Among the other entities blacklisted for sanctions are the Revolutionary Guards Corps cyber unit for repressing social media networks to suppress protest.

The Trump administration also wants the “follow-on” deal to eliminate the “sunset clauses” of the current nuclear agreement, under which Iran is allowed to resume enrichment when the deal expires, and expanded inspections that could trigger re-imposed sanctions if Iran failed to comply.

Haley: Trump’s Goal Is to Stop Iran From Becoming ‘the Next North Korea’

October 15, 2017

Haley: Trump’s Goal Is to Stop Iran From Becoming ‘the Next North Korea’, Washington Free Beacon, October 15,2017

 

 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended President Donald Trump’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal by saying he is trying to keep Iran from becoming “the next North Korea.”

Trump announced Friday he would decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, but he is not fully withdrawing from it. Haley argued that his toughness on Iran is a result of seeing how negotiations with North Korea failed to stop the Kim Jong Un regime from developing a nuclear program.

“Had this been done with North Korea over the past 25 years, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Haley said on Sunday, referring to Kim’s recent missile tests. “What you see is the president is trying to make sure that Iran doesn’t become the next North Korea.”

ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Haley if Trump’s decision sent the wrong message to North Korea because it might prevent them from negotiating with the U.S. in the future. Haley, however, said it sends the message that the U.S. will remain vigilant.

“It sends the perfect message to North Korea, which is we’re not going to engage in a bad deal,” she said. “And should we ever get into a deal, we’re going to hold you accountable.”

Haley said Iran’s technical compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency does not mean it meets the expectations the U.S. has for national security. She cited Iran’s other violations and support for terrorism and advised against complacency in service of keeping the deal.

“What you’re seeing is, everybody is turning a blind eye to Iran and all of those violations out of trying to protect this agreement,” Haley said. “What we need to say is, we have to hold them accountable.”

In another interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Haley reiterated her point that the joint partners in the Iran deal should not treat it as “too big to fail.”

“When the international community gives Iran a pass for all these things—the ballistic missile testing, the arms sales, their support of terrorism—and they look the other way all in the name of keeping the deal, then you are looking at something that’s too big to fail,” Haley said. “That’s the problem.”

Strategic decisiveness, tactical caution

October 15, 2017

Strategic decisiveness, tactical caution, Israel Hayom, Prof. Abraham Ben-Zvi, October 15, 2017

Iran is now facing a three-pronged American challenge: the steps that stem directly from the newly announced Trump Doctrine; new legislation against it; and unilateral action by Trump should Congress fail to enact new legislation, leading to the U.S. withdrawing from the pact.

In one fell swoop, through a single speech, Trump put the ball squarely in Iran’s court.

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When it comes to North Korea, U.S. President Donald Trump has adopted a policy of containment and deterrence, owing to the fact that it presents a general threat.

But when it comes to Iran, things are different. On Friday, Trump unveiled a new doctrine against this component of the Axis of Evil, a doctrine that is based more on red lines and clear thresholds that would trigger American action should they be crossed.

This approach represents a creative blend of strategic decisiveness and tactical caution. The strategic decisiveness rests on his pledge to counter Iran head-on, should the need arise, over its repeated violations of key parts of the 2015 nuclear deal, and over its conduct in the region (including its ongoing ballistic missile program and its continued support for terrorist groups and destabilization efforts).

The tactical caution part is based on his recognition that a potential Iranian-American clash is not necessarily immediate, forceful or even inevitable. In other words, the White House has articulated a gradual process that gives Iranian President Hassan Rouhani a way out by mending his ways before the moment of truth arrives.

Thus, even though the Trump Doctrine is a break from the way the nuclear deal has been implemented so far, Washington will stay in it in order to improve it, hoping that its threats will have a moderating effect on the ayatollah regime. Therefore, Trump’s decision to decertify the agreement doesn’t mean that he is bent on withdrawing from it. He is still going to play by the rules, but his new doctrine presents several powerful deterrent elements.

The first: He has sent a signal to Tehran of what’s to come. Through the newly announced sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which complement other steps the Pentagon has taken in the region to curtail Iran’s destabilizing activity, Iran now knows what’s at stake.

The second: He announced what could be a new, comprehensive and structured mechanism to punish Iran. If and when Congress decides to adopt such a mechanism, it will include a host of steps against the regime, including sanctions that are automatically imposed if Iran violates certain provisions characterized as “red lines” (say, regarding its missile program).

The third: If Congress fails to pass new legislation to punish Iran over the next two months, this will lead to the termination of the agreement as far as he is concerned – with all the consequences that this may entail.

Iran is now facing a three-pronged American challenge: the steps that stem directly from the newly announced Trump Doctrine; new legislation against it; and unilateral action by Trump should Congress fail to enact new legislation, leading to the U.S. withdrawing from the pact.

In one fell swoop, through a single speech, Trump put the ball squarely in Iran’s court.

Congress Seeks Deadline on Iran Accepting Tougher Nuclear Deal Standards

October 13, 2017

Congress Seeks Deadline on Iran Accepting Tougher Nuclear Deal Standards, Washington Free Beacon, October 13, 2017

Rep. Peter Roskam / Getty Images

Roskam’s legislation would mandate that Iran permit unfettered, unannounced, and indefinite access to all of Iran’s contested nuclear sites, including military spots that have been completely off-access to international nuclear inspectors.

Iran opposes such proposals, claiming that its military sites will never been opened to the international community.

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Congress is set to consider new legislation that would require Iran to accept tough new conditions on the landmark nuclear deal or face a rash of harsh new economic sanctions aimed at thwarting the Islamic Republic’s continued nuclear buildup, according to a draft of new legislation exclusively viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

On the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will decertify Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement, top GOP lawmakers are already working on legislation that would compliment the White House’s announcement and move forward with efforts to harshly penalize Tehran if it does not accept rigid new standards on its nuclear activities within the next six months, according to a copy of draft legislation circulating in the House of Representatives.

The new legislation, spearheaded by Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), would reimpose all economic sanctions lifted by the former Obama administration as part of the nuclear agreement if Iran refuses to comply with tough new standards restricting its ballistic missile program, arms buildup, and failure to permit access to a range of military sites suspected of engaging in nuclear work.

The legislation also would effectively kill provisions of the nuclear agreement known as sunset clauses. These are portions of the deal that would rollback restrictions on Iran’s advanced nuclear research and weapons buildup within the next five to six years.

Trump, as well as allies in Congress, maintains the original nuclear accord contains several key flaws that permit Iran to cheat on the deal and receive sweetheart bonuses—such as sanctions relief and other assets—despite evidence of multiple violations of the agreement.

Sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the effort to tighten the deal said that many in Congress would be willing to reimpose all key sanctions on Iran if it does not agree to abide by the stricter enforcement regulations.

“The days of appeasing the Mullah’s every wish and sitting back and watching as the terrorist state goes nuclear are over,” said one senior congressional official intimately familiar with the new proposal. “Congress overwhelmingly opposed Obama’s disastrous deal with Iran. Now’s the time to assert our constitutional responsibility to defend our nation and use all tools of U.S. power to permanently prevent an nuclear armed Iran.”

This new legislation is similar to the policy approach advocated by senior Trump administration officials, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who told reporters late Thursday the administration is looking to create a parallel nuclear deal that gives Congress a larger role in ensuring Iranian compliance.

These would include “trigger points that are specific to the nuclear program itself, but also deals with things like their ballistic missile program,” according to Tillerson.

Roskam’s new legislation, called the JCPOA Improvement Act of 2017, seeks to do precisely this.

In addition to banning Iran from developing, testing, and operating ballistic missile technology—which was never addressed in the original nuclear agreement – the new legislation would impose even stricter regulations on the amount of nuclear enrichment Iran can legally engage in.

It also would stop Iran from installing advanced nuclear centrifuges that can enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, much faster than older versions of this equipment. Under the original nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, Iran would have been granted the right to operate advanced centrifuges within the next several years.

Congress also is seeking to address Iran’s development of heavy water nuclear reactors that provide a secondary pathway to a nuclear weapon via the use of plutonium, a by-product of such equipment, according to the draft legislation and sources who spoke to the Free Beacon.

The Obama administration had worked to ensure that, under the agreement, Iran retained its right to operate such reactors, despite opposition in Congress and elsewhere. Iran has already inked several deals with Russia to assist in the construction of new light and heavy water reactors, though this new legislation could complicate that matter.

Another key portion of the original agreement that has been vehemently criticized by Trump and congressional allies surrounds caveats that give Iran more than a month before consenting to inspections of its nuclear sites.

Roskam’s legislation would mandate that Iran permit unfettered, unannounced, and indefinite access to all of Iran’s contested nuclear sites, including military spots that have been completely off-access to international nuclear inspectors.

Iran opposes such proposals, claiming that its military sites will never been opened to the international community.

If Iran does not agree to the new restrictions proposed in the legislation, Congress has the ability to reimpose all sanctions that were lifted as part of the original accord. This represents a major new tool for Congress as it works to thwart Iran’s continued military endeavors across the Middle East and its pursuit of advanced new weaponry.

Under the new legislation, any future attempt to rescind these new restrictions would be subject to a vote in the United Nations Security Council, according to the bill.