Posted tagged ‘Supreme leader’

Why won’t Obama stop lying about Iran’s military budget?

September 2, 2015

Why won’t Obama stop lying about Iran’s military budget? Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 2, 2015


Obama claimed that ISIS was only a “jayvee” team even as it was capturing Iraqi cities. Now he wants us to believe that Iran is just another “jayvee” team even as it’s taking over Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Like the rest of his Iran deal talking points, the one about Iran’s tiny military budget is false, and not only is it false, but his claim about how small Iran’s military budget keeps changing.

A few weeks ago, in a speech at American University, he was  claiming that “The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion.”

“Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us,” Obama had told the New York Times in April.

Just now, he told the Forward, “As I pointed out repeatedly, Iran’s annual defense budget is about $15 billion.”

What is Iran’s military budget? Read Obama’s lips. It’s either $15 billion or $30 billion.

Either Iran’s military budget changes every time Obama gives a speech or he’s playing with numbers to make it seem small. If $30 billion still seems big, how about $15 billion? And if $15 billion is still too big, get ready for the $7.5 billion Iranian defense budget. How can you be worried about that?

Obama is borrowing a trick from the Manchurian Candidate. No one is talking about how big Iran’s military budget is, but debating how small it is. And how small is it?

Iran’s military is at over 500,000 in strength. The Basji militia claims to be able to mobilize millions more. It has a nuclear weapons program and some of the most advanced indigenously developed weapons programs in the region. Iran is currently involved in wars in Syria and Iraq. Its proxy armies have carved up Lebanon and Yemen, and are slavering over Bahrain.

Not bad for $15 billion or $30 billion or whatever Obama is claiming it is this week.

Of course Iran’s budget isn’t $15 or $30 billion. It spent $11 billion on the Bushehr reactor alone. Its nuclear program cost upward of $100 billion. Obama’s deal requires him to claim that the program is peaceful, but who really believes that a country sitting on a mountain of gas and oil blew that much money just to lower the cost of electricity a little bit?

How much money is Iran really spending to expand its territory and influence?  Iran is allegedly spending billions a month to back Assad’s military campaign. The total may come to as much as $35 billion a year.

That’s more than more than twice as much as Obama’s current estimate of its military budget.

The Hezbollah terror group has received billions from Iran over several years. Islamic Jihad in Israel gets between $100 and $150 million a year.  Iran cut off aid to Hamas due to the Sunni-Shiite shift. Since then relations are slowly being restored, but it’s unclear how much money this will mean for the terror group. In 2007, Iran had pledged $250 million in aid. It’s unknown how much money Iran is spending on its Houthi terrorists in Yemen or how much money it’s spending on Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria.

In 2007, a senior Hezbollah terrorist captured by the US claimed that Iran was providing $3 million a month to Shiite terror groups to attack Americans in Iraq. Considering that the Shiite militias now dominate Baghdad and other parts of Iraq and number in the tens of thousands, it’s a safe bet that the bill for maintaining Tehran’s terrorist army in Iraq has gone up a whole lot since then.

It’s unknown how much Iran is spending on its Shiite militias in Syria, but the NDF reportedly has 100,000 men and is being trained and financed by Iran.

And this is just the visible ground forces.

Iran also has an international terrorist network which it has used to carry out terror attacks everywhere from Argentina to Thailand to Saudi Arabia to Paris. No country since the USSR has anything like it in its scope and organizations like that cost money. We can’t even begin to guess how much Iran spends on it.

But there are hints. The investigation into Iran’s bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Argentina was stymied by bribery attempts and climaxed in the assassination of Alberto Nisman, the Special Prosecutor who had accused President Kirchner of a cover-up in return for business deals with Iran.

That sort of arrangement doesn’t come cheap. Iran is willing to spend a lot of money to maintain a global terror network and then to clean up after it.

So what is Iran’s real military budget?

It has the biggest ballistic missile arsenal and the only known nuclear weapons program in the region. It has the largest number of active military personnel in the region and its militias control large sections of four other countries. It has indigenously developed fighter jets and a global terrorist network. It has drone bases, submarines and is the “the holder of the largest chemical weapons stockpile” in the area.

This doesn’t come cheap and you can’t have all that on the military budget of Colombia. If you believe Obama, then Iran has a smaller military budget than Israel and Saudi Arabia even though the military spending in both countries is largely focused on countering threats from Iran. If you believe Obama, Iran is no match for any of its neighbors, and yet it’s conquering or terrorizing them one by one.

But with Obama, the devil is usually in the details. He emphasizes the “defense budget”, but despite its official claims, Iran doesn’t play defense. It goes on the offensive. Its constitution states that its military is an “ideological army” built to fulfill “the ideological mission of jihad in Allah’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of Allah’s law throughout the world.”

Or as the Ayatollah Khomeini said, “Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males… to prepare themselves for the conquest of [other] countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.”

Iran doesn’t have a defense budget. Like Nazi Germany or the USSR, its entire system is militarized. A portion of its money goes to the business of government. A portion of that exists officially as a defense budget, most of which is swallowed up by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). The IRGC is a terrorist group with its own army and air force that is involved in wars across the region.

None of these numbers really mean anything because Iran’s accounting would make the mafia blanch. Iran is an oligarchy built on a complex network of organizations. State-owned enterprises, generals, Islamic foundations and terrorist bosses move money around using everything from oil to heroin.

The official budget means even less than it does in Russia. It’s just a number you read in the newspaper.

The IRGC controls construction companies, nuclear plants, airports, banks and ports. Imagine if GE, HSBC and Berkshire Hathaway were all one entity and had their own army. That’s the IRGC. Its annual revenue is estimated to be higher than Obama’s estimate for Iran’s entire defense budget.

Iran doesn’t have a defense budget. Its economy is its military budget. The IRGC controls at least a third of the country’s GDP and the vast majority of its exports. It claims a majority of the official defense budget, but unofficially it controls a majority of Iran’s economy.

It’s also responsible for exporting terrorism worldwide.

Obama’s claims about Iran’s tiny defense budget, which shrinks every time he gives a speech, are a lie. He claims that the “Gulf States, combined, spend about eight times” as much as Iran does. In fact, Iran spends at least as much if not more because most of its military budget is as black as night.

Ever since he struck a deal with Iran’s terror regime, he’s been knowingly passing on misinformation from that regime. And Obama can’t even seem to keep the phony budget numbers he’s using straight.

Obama has told many lies about his Iran deal. But this is more than just another lie. Minimizing Iran’s military spending to make it look as harmless as possible endangers American national security. There are already reports that Obama worked to tamper with ISIS intelligence materials to make the terror group look weak. It was his insistence that ISIS was only a jayvee team that let it take over cities.

Now he wants to convince Americans that Iran is just another jayvee team we shouldn’t take seriously. Pay no attention to the nukes or the worldwide terror rings. Its fake military budget is so small.

Obama deserves to be called out for every lie he has told about his disastrous Iran deal. But it’s important to our national security to call him out for his big lie about Iran’s little military budget.

Jihad, Iranian-style

August 21, 2015

Jihad, Iranian-style, Israel Hayom, Ruthie Blum, August 21, 2015

The new twist in the controversy surrounding the nuclear agreement is an argument over the veracity of a report on a side deal giving Iran the right to inspect its own nuclear facilities for potential violations. The idea is so preposterous that it must be true, judging by the rest of the top-secret document on which the U.S. Congress is going to vote in September.

But as the debate heats up over whether the deal furthers or hinders Iran’s nuclear weapon capabilities, an equally serious issue keeps being marginalized. This is the more immediate and tangible danger posed by Iran’s terrorist proxies, and the sudden financial and ideological boost the deal is providing them.

The reason it is crucial to keep an eye on their activities is that they constitute Iran’s global army — the boots on the ground, so to speak — who perform the legwork necessary for the ultimate aim of regional and global jihadist hegemony. Their role is to set the stage for that time in the not-so-distant future when Iran’s power and reach are so extensive that its leaders won’t need to waste their nuclear warheads by firing them.

This is where Israel comes in. As the only democracy in the Middle East, an ally of the West and a Jewish state, it has key strategic value. It is like the central card in a house of cards, whose removal topples the whole structure.

It is also tiny and surrounded by rogue states with an endless supply of Muslim would-be “martyrs” willing to die in the “holy” endeavor to take it down.

On Thursday, Israel received its latest message to this effect, when four rockets, launched from Syria, landed in the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization was behind the attack, which spurred Israel to retaliate.

Also on Thursday, Israel deployed anti-missile Iron Dome batteries in the south of the country, in the areas between Ashkelon and Ashdod, as well as in Beersheba. This was in response to threats of rocket fire by Iran-baked terrorists in Gaza — whose excuse was the worsening condition of hunger-striking Palestinian terror suspect Mohammed Allan.

A review of recent Iranian rhetoric and activity, released by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, puts all of the above in context.<

Last month, the General Assembly of Islamic Resistance Ulema (scholars) held a weekend conference titled “Unity for Palestine.”

At the gathering, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said, “We believe with certainty that Israel, this cancerous tumor, is headed for extinction, and that Palestine and Jerusalem will be returned to their people. It is only a matter of time and is linked to the will, action, jihad, and sacrifices of the Ummah [Islamic nation], according to the principle: If you achieve victory for Allah, Allah will lead you to achieve victory.”

From Iran, Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, secretary general of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, agreed.

“Annihilation of the Zionist regime is a sure thing and Quranic pledge,” he said, adding that it is important to unify “Muslims in countering the regime of Zionism and the arrogant world.”

Muhammad Hasan Zamani, a former Iranian cultural attache in Egypt who heads the Department of International Islamic Madrasas (educational institutions) for the General Assembly of Islamic Resistance Ulema, reiterated this position.

“Israel must be erased from the map of the world,” he said. “These are the golden words Imam Khomeini, may God have mercy on him, uttered.”

Sheikh Abdel Halim Qadhi, a professor at Zahedan University in Iran, said, “The holy Quran makes it known that Jews are the enemies of Islam and the Muslims and their holy places and rites. … Jihad is the most powerful and only way to liberate Palestine and defend Jerusalem. … God loves those who fight in his way.”

Earlier this month, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published “Palestine,” a 416-page tome devoted to the issue of Israel’s inevitable demise, with a blurb on its back cover calling the author the “flagbearer of jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”

This week, Khamenei gave an abbreviated version of this on Twitter: “We spare no opportunity to support anyone #FightingTheZionists,” he wrote.

At the same time, a clip produced by the Islamic Revolution Design House, a media outlet associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, began to circulate on YouTube. The minute-and-a-half animated video depicts an Islamist invasion of Jerusalem.

The brief silent film shows soldiers from the Revolutionary Guards, Shia Badr, Hezbollah, Hamas and Qassam Brigades, clad in military gear and keffiyehs, marching to and standing on a hill overlooking the Temple Mount, as thousands upon thousands of additional terrorists amass.

An inscription in Farsi on a black screen at the end says: “Israel must be erased from the annals of history, and the youth will definitely see that day when it comes.”

Lest anyone imagine the mullahs pulling the strings in Iran don’t mean business, all one has to do is observe how they are executing their grand plan, part of which is the nuclear deal with the “Great Satan” and the other P5+1 countries. Among these is Russia, which confirmed on Wednesday that it will supply Iran with four upgraded batteries of S-300 surface-to-air missiles as soon as the deal is finalized.

Such missiles give Iran the extra benefit of being able to stave off attack. At that point, will it really matter if Iran is in charge of its own inspections?

Iran plans missile tests to flaunt defiance of Vienna deal and UNSC resolution

August 3, 2015

Iran plans missile tests to flaunt defiance of Vienna deal and UNSC resolution, DEBKAfile, August 3, 2015

iranian_long-range_ballistic_Shahab-3Iran’s long-range ballistic Shahab-3

Before taking off from Cairo Sunday, Kerry issued this emphatic statement:  “There can be absolutely no question that if the [Iran deal] is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer.”


Shortly before US Secretary of State John Kerry was due in Qatar Monday, Aug. 3, Iran’s highest authorities led by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Sunday launched a public campaign to support Tehran’s noncompliance with the Vienna nuclear accord and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20, on its ballistic missile program. The campaign was designed by a team from Khamenei’s office, high-ranking ayatollahs and the top echelons of the Revolutionary Guards, including its chief, Gen. Ali Jafari.

It was kicked off with a batch of petitions fired off by the students of nine Tehran universities and Qom religious seminaries to Iran’s chief of staff Maj Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, demanding immediate tests of long-range ballistic missiles to prove that the missile ban was invalid.

It was essential, said one student letter, “…to underline the necessity for protecting the country’s defense capabilities and ensuring continued development of Iran’s ballistic missile capability.”

The students, whose influence on public opinion is substantial, went on to argue: “Firing the ballistic missiles in military drills would discourage the US Congress, the Israeli Knesset and their regional Takfiri mercenaries (a reference to the Islamic State) from future strikes against the Islamic Republic.”

The Security Council Resolution, which unanimously endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Vienna nuclear accord) signed by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, called on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic technology until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day.”

Tehran retorted that none of its ballistic missiles were designed to deliver nuclear weapons, and so this provision was void. Shortly after its passage, the foreign ministry in Tehran issued an assurance that “…the country’s ballistic missile program and capability is untouched and unrestricted by Resolution 2231.”

On July 30, Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei’s senior adviser on international affairs and member of the Expediency Council, told reporters, “The recent UNSC Resolution on Iran’s defensive capabilities, specially (sic) its missiles, is unacceptable to Iran.”

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report that Tehran deliberately engineered this campaign’s timing for it to surface the day before the arrival of John Kerry, the live wire behind the Vienna Accord, in Doha, Qatar, Monday. He has defined his mission as an effort to ease the concerns of the Gulf and other Arab nations about the negative affect of the accord on their security.

Before taking off from Cairo Sunday, Kerry issued this emphatic statement:  “There can be absolutely no question that if the [Iran deal] is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer.”

This proposition may be harder than ever to sell to Iran’s neighbors once its ballistic missiles are launched over their heads.

The Iran scam grows even worse – Part I, Nuke site inspections

June 15, 2015

Dan Miller’s Blog, May 15, 2015

(The views expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of Warsclerotic or its other editors. — DM

It is likely that the P5+1 nuke deal with Iran will be approved soon. Military and other nuke sites which Iran has not “disclosed” will not be inspected. Nor will Iran’s nuke ties with North Korea — which P5+1 member China seems to be helping, Iran’s massive support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record be considered because they are also deemed unnecessary for deal approval. Sanctions against Iran are moribund and will not be revived regardless of whether there is a “deal.” However, a bronze bust of Obama may soon be displayed prominently in Supreme Leader Khamenei’s office and one of Khamenei may soon be displayed proudly in Dear Leader Obama’s office.

Iran fenced in

Part I — Nuke site inspections

According to a June 11, 2015 article by the Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI), Iran’s Supreme Leader has said there will not even be “token” IAEA inspections.

This past week, members of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team revealed details about the Iran-U.S. nuclear negotiations. The negotiations were dealt a blow when Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected an agreement reached by the two sides concerning a token inspection of military facilities and questioning of several nuclear scientists and “military personnel”; these were to be the response to the IAEA’s open dossier on possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program to which Iran has so far refused to respond.

Iranian reports on these developments show that in order to arrive at a comprehensive agreement, the U.S. is willing to forgo actual inspection of Iranian military facilities and to settle for inspection of declared nuclear facilities only, as set forth under the Additional Protocol, while the ongoing monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program will be left to intelligence elements. [Emphasis added.]

Also on June 11th, it was reported that

CIA Director John Brennan likely came to Israel last week to tell Israeli officials that a final nuclear deal with Iran does not have to include a commitment by Tehran to provide access to military bases, or Iranian consent to interview its scientists, a new report by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) said. [Emphasis added.]

On June 12th, Iranian President Rouhani reiterated that

the country will never allow its secrets to be exposed under the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or any other treaty.

“Certainly, Iran will not allow its secrets to be obtained by others under the pretext of implementing the (Additional) Protocol or any other treaty,” President Rouhani said at a press conference in Tehran.

He reaffirmed that foreigners will be denied access not only to Iran’s military secrets but also to secret information in other technological fields.

Here’s a video with comments by Former DIA Director Lt. General Michael Flynn and Ambassador Robert Joseph on Iran’s ballistic missile program and other aspects of the “deal:”

Here’s the Obama administration’s most recent waffle on inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites and sanctions relief:

Although the State Department spokesman waffled, his comments were, unfortunately, at least generally consistent with the January 14, 2014 White House Summary of the framework for subsequent P5+1 negotiations. As I noted here in January of 2014, that summary failed even to mention such military sites as Parchin — even though the IAEA “had reason to think that there had been implosion testing in 2011 but was refused access to inspect” it, Iran’s development and testing of rocketry capable of delivering nuclear warheads and its development and testing of nuclear warheads.

It had been reported on November 27, 2013 that

Despite Tehran’s protestations that it has no intention of ever creating a nuclear weapon, Iran, in fact, has been developing a warhead for some 15 years. That design is now near perfect. [Emphasis added.]

It had been reported on November 28, 2013 that

A top Iranian military leader announced late Tuesday that Iran has developed “indigenous” ballistic missile technology, which could eventually allow it to fire a nuclear payload over great distances. [Emphasis added.]

Why does the White House Summary fail to mention such things? Probably because they are not within the parameters of the November 24, 2013 Joint Plan of Action.

The Joint Plan of Action, — on which the White House Summary seems to have been based — states, in a superficially comforting preamble,

The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek or develop any nuclear weapons. This comprehensive solution would build on these initial measures and result in a final step for a period to be agreed upon and the resolution of concerns. This comprehensive solution would enable Iran to fully enjoy its right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the NPT in conformity with its obligations therein. This comprehensive solution would involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the programme. This comprehensive solution would constitute an integrated whole where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. This comprehensive solution would involve a reciprocal, step-bystep process, and would produce the comprehensive lifting of all UN Security Council sanctions, as well as multilateral and national sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear programme. [Emphasis added.]

There would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step, including, among other things, addressing the UN Security Council resolutions, with a view toward bringing to a satisfactory conclusion the UN Security Council’s consideration of this matter. The E3+3 and Iran will be responsible for conclusion and implementation of mutual near-term measures and the comprehensive solution in good faith. A Joint Commission of E3/EU+3 and Iran will be established to monitor the implementation of the near-term measures and address issues that may arise, with the IAEA responsible for verification of nuclear-related measures. The Joint Commission will work with the IAEA to facilitate resolution of past and present issues of concern.

However, while the Joint Plan of Action calls for “enhanced monitoring” of Iran’s facilities, its focus is on nuclear enrichment, not Iran’s militarization of nukes.

Enhanced monitoring:

Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iran’s plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures.

Submission of an updated DIQ for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.  Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of the Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.

Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.

IAEA inspector managed access to: centrifuge assembly workshops; centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and, uranium mines and mills.

Despite Obama’s claims, Iran appears to have increased, not rolled-back, its nuclear enrichment program. According to the New York Times on June 1st,

With only one month left before a deadline to complete a nuclear deal with Iran, international inspectors have reported that Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partially undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been “frozen” during that period.

But Western officials and experts cannot quite figure out why. One possibility is that Iran has run into technical problems that have kept it from converting some of its enriched uranium into fuel rods for reactors, which would make the material essentially unusable for weapons. Another is that it is increasing its stockpile to give it an edge if the negotiations fail.

Here’s an “explanation” by Marie Harf, the “the Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the U.S. State Department. . . .”

Iran will not budge on inspection of its military and other sites it has not disclosed and which are claimed by the IAEA to be places where Iran’s weaponization of nukes is likely. The Obama Administration will not budge on permitting Iran to get away with it.

Although Israel has been the only free and democratic nation consistently to oppose the P5+1 “negotiations” and the framework on which they are based from the beginning, France has sometimes opposed Obama’s pursuit of a bad “deal.” Recently, France even demanded the inspection of Iran’s sites as sought by the IAEA and stated that it would not consent to a P5+1 “deal” without them.

However, “the French position creates a problem for President Obama because the deal has to be agreed on by the P5+1, not the ‘P4+1-with-one-vote-in-opposition’.” Of the P5+1 members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany), France appeared to stand alone on this point. However, the linked article suggests that Obama may be trying to use France’s support for a Palestinian state within Israel to convince her to agree that such inspections are unnecessary.

The first story is about France, a member of the P5+1 negotiating a deal with Iran on nuclear capabilities. The French government has expressed increasing concern that the emerging deal is flawed — perhaps fatally.

The other story is that Obama’s

expressed skepticism about the achievability of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement appears to have given way to the French notion that “all other ways have been explored,” and that it is time to let the UN determine parameters for a “big overarching deal.” And, as it happens, the French draft corresponds with the President Obama’s own — strongly held — belief that Israel has to ascribe to the President’s view, despite having just elected a Prime Minister who disagrees.

. . . .

Smash the two stories together, you get an American president supporting France in its efforts to be a major player in the Middle East in exchange for French support of the P5+1 deal with Iran.

In both cases, guess who pays the price: Israel.

The rest of the “free world,” such as it has become, will also pay a hefty price for such a “deal” with Iran.

On a similar note, it was reported on June 9th that

A senior Western diplomat told Ma’ariv in a report published Tuesday that “a diplomatic attack against Israel is expected soon that will surprise even the pessimists in Jerusalem.”  [Emphasis added.]

“In the (UN) Security Council, in western capitals and at EU headquarters, they are just waiting for the Iran deal to be signed and for it to be approved by the American Congress,” warned the diplomatic source.

It appears that the waiting period will likely expire in September, at which time a UN General Assembly will open in tandem with the first shots of the diplomatic barrage against Israel.

Diplomatic sources familiar with Western European positions vis-a-vis Israel said the EU already has a list ready, itemizing sanctions against Israel in the fields of trade, agriculture, science and culture. [Emphasis added.]

That list is to be translated into an economic assault – unless Israel presents a new set of concessions it is willing to make for a new round of peace talks, after the last set of talks was torpedoed by the PA signing a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization.

“S‭enior officials in Jerusalem are aware of the existence of sanctions documents at EU headquarters, some of which have even fallen into their hands,” one diplomatic source revealed to Ma’ariv.

Were Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to have agreed with Obama on the Iran nuke “negotiations,” Israel’s punishment by imposing economic sanctions on her as those on Iran cease would now be unlikely.

Obama seems to be happy with any “deal” that Iran is willing to sign, despite Iran’s ongoing nuke militarization, the Iran-North Korea-China connection, Iran’s continued massive support for terrorism and its abysmal human rights record. With such a “deal,” Iran will be able to pursue such goals essentially unimpeded, at least until a different administration takes over in Washington.

gary_varvel_gary_varvel_for_04272014_5_-500x367 (H/t Freedom is just another word.)

Parts II through ?? of this series will be posted over the next several days.

Obama Assures Iran It Has Nothing to Fear

June 2, 2015

Obama Assures Iran It Has Nothing to Fear, Commentary Magazine, June 1, 2015

(Obama seems to have been talking about Iranian efforts to militarize nukes, not peaceful uses such as medical or generation of electricity. If, as claimed, Iran has no intention of getting, keeping or using nukes why try to halt it? Why bother even to negotiate?– DM)

“A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it.”


At this point, there is virtually no one in Israel or the United States who thinks it is remotely possible that the Obama administration would ever, under virtually any circumstances, use force against Iran. Though President Obama and his foreign policy team have always claimed that “all options,” including force, are always on the table in the event that Iran refuses to back down and seeks to produce a nuclear weapon, that is a threat that few took seriously. But President Obama has never been quite as explicit about this before as he was in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 in which he reportedly said there is no military option to stop Iran. If Obama wanted to telegraph Iran that it could be as tough as it likes in the talks over the final text of the nuclear deal being negotiated this month this statement certainly did the job. Though they had little worry about Obama’s toughness or resolve, the ayatollahs will be pleased to note that the president no longer even bothers to pretend he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to stop Iran’s nuclear ambition.

According to the Times of Israel, Obama said:

“A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it.”

Though he continued to use rhetoric that left force as an option, the implicit threat of American action if a nuclear weapon were a possibility has lacked credibility since the president began his second term. Once he embarked upon secret back-channel talks in which, one by one, he abandoned his previous pledges about forcing Iran to shut down its program in concessions and virtually every other U.S. position on the issue, force was never a real possibility. The signing of a weak interim deal in November, 2013, and then the framework agreed upon this spring signaled the end of any idea that the U.S. was prepared to act. That is especially so because the current deal leaves Tehran in possession of its nuclear infrastructure and with no guarantees about inspections or the re-imposition of sanctions in the event the agreement collapsed. The current deal, even with so many crucial details left unspecified makes Iran a U.S. partner and, in effect, the centerpiece of a new U.S. Middle East policy that essentially sidelines traditional allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel that are directly threatened by Iran.

Moreover, it must be conceded that the use of force against Iran would be problematic even for the United States and its vast military resources. As for Israel, despite a lot of bold talk by some in the Jewish state, there has always been skepticism that its outstanding air force had the ability to sustain an air campaign for the length of time that would be required to make a difference. Nevertheless, the notion that force would not be effective in forestalling an Iranian bomb is mistaken. Serious damage could put off the threat for a long time and, if sanctions were kept in place or made stricter as they should have been to strengthen the West’s bargaining position, the possibility of an Iranian nuke could have been put off for the foreseeable future.

Yet, while talk about using force has been largely obsolete once the interim deal was signed in 2013, for the president to send such a clear signal that he will not under any circumstances walk away from the current talks, no matter what Iran does, is significant.

After all, some of the most important elements of the deal have yet to be nailed down. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has publicly stated that he will never allow the sort of inspections that would make a deal verifiable. He has also demanded that sanctions be lifted permanently on the day the agreement is signed, and that there should be no provision for them to be snapped back. Nor are the Iranians conceding that their stockpile of nuclear fuel be taken out of their hands.

So if Obama is to get the “verifiable tough agreement” he told Channel 2 he seeks, the U.S. must somehow convince the Iranians to back down on all these points. That’s going to be difficult since the past two years of negotiations with Obama have taught them to wait for him to give up since he always does so sooner or later. The president’s statement makes it clear that, no matter how obdurate the Iranians remain, he will never walk away from the talks. And since this deal is the lynchpin of his foreign policy legacy, they know very well that all they have to do is to be patient.

Iran already knows that the deal in its current form allows them two clear paths to a bomb. One is by cheating on its easily evaded terms. The other is by waiting patiently for it to expire, the sunset provision being another astonishing concession by Obama.

If a tough deal were even a possibility, this would have been the moment for the president to sound tough. But throughout this process, the only toughness the president has shown has been toward Israel as he sought to disparage and dismiss its justifiable worries about his course of action. Merely saying now, as he does in the Channel 2 interview, that he understands Israel’s fears is mere lip service, especially since it comes along with a virtual guarantee to Iran that it needn’t worry about a U.S. strike under any circumstance.

With only weeks to go until the June 30 deadline for an Iran deal, there is no question that Obama’s statement makes an unsatisfactory final text even more certain than it was before. That’s good news for Tehran and very bad news for an Israeli people who have no reason to trust the president’s promises or believe in his good intentions.

The rational Ayatollah hypothesis

May 29, 2015

The rational Ayatollah hypothesis, Power LineScott Johnson, May 28, 2015

In his Wall Street Journal column this past Tuesday, Bret Stephens took up “The rational ayatollah hypothesis” (accessible via Google here). That hypothesis — asserted, I would say, as a thesis if not a fact by our Supreme Leader about Iran’s Supreme Leader — holds that economics and other such considerations constrain the anti-Semitic behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran. So about those nuclear weapons that Iran is developing on — Israel is not to worry. Neither are we. It’s the Alfred E. Newman approach writ large.

Obama articulated his thesis in response to a question posed by Jeffrey Goldberg in his recent interview of Obama. I wrote about it in “Obama expounds the limits of Iran’s anti-Semitism.” I struggled because Obama’s observations are both ignorant and obtuse. Stephens takes up Obama’s thesis somewhat more elegantly than I did:

Iran has no border, and no territorial dispute, with Israel. The two countries have a common enemy in Islamic State and other radical Sunni groups. Historically and religiously, Jews have always felt a special debt to Persia. Tehran and Jerusalem were de facto allies until 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini came to power and 100,000 Jews still lived in Iran. Today, no more than 10,000 Jews are left.

So on the basis of what self-interest does Iran arm and subsidize Hamas, probably devoting more than $1 billion of (scarce) dollars to the effort? What’s the economic rationale for hosting conferences of Holocaust deniers in Tehran, thereby gratuitously damaging ties to otherwise eager economic partners such as Germany and France? What was the political logic to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s calls to wipe Israel off the map, which made it so much easier for the U.S. and Europe to impose sanctions? How does the regime shore up its domestic legitimacy by preaching a state ideology that makes the country a global pariah?

Maybe all this behavior serves Tehran’s instrumental purposes by putting the regime at the vanguard of a united Shiite-Sunni “resistance” to Western imperialism and Zionism. If so, it hasn’t worked out too well, as the rise of Islamic State shows. The likelier explanation is that the regime believes what it says, practices what it preaches, and is willing to pay a steep price for doing so.

So it goes with hating Jews. There are casual bigots who may think of Jews as greedy or uncouth, but otherwise aren’t obsessed by their prejudices. But the Jew-hatred of the Iranian regime is of the cosmic variety: Jews, or Zionists, as the agents of everything that is wrong in this world, from poverty and drug addiction to conflict and genocide. If Zionism is the root of evil, then anti-Zionism is the greatest good—a cause to which one might be prepared to sacrifice a great deal, up to and including one’s own life.

This was one of the lessons of the Holocaust, which the Nazis carried out even at the expense of the overall war effort. In 1944, with Russia advancing on a broad front and the Allies landing in Normandy, Adolf Eichmann pulled out all stops to deport more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz in just two months. The Nazis didn’t even bother to make slaves of most of their prisoners to feed their war machine. Annihilation of the Jews was the higher goal.

Modern Iran is not Nazi Germany, or so Iran’s apologists like to remind us. Then again, how different is the thinking of an Eichmann from that of a Khamenei, who in 2012 told a Friday prayer meeting that Israel was a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut”?”

Walter Russell Mead has more here, all of it worth reading. I thought readers who have been tracking the deep thoughts of our Supreme Leader, as we all should, might find Mead’s thoughts and Stephens’s column of interest.

Top Iranian Negotiator: We Reached Solution with P5+1 on Site Inspection, But Khamenei Rejected It

May 28, 2015

Top Iranian Negotiator: We Reached Solution with P5+1 on Site Inspection, But Khamenei Rejected It, MEMRI-TV videos, May 28, 2015

In an Iranian TV interview, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, who is Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, revealed that the Iranian negotiating team had reached possible solutions with the P5+1 on the issue of inspection of Iranian nuclear facilities, but that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had decisively rejected them. Inspection of the facilities is one of the key issues remaining in the nuclear talks. The interview aired on Iran’s Channel 2 TV on May 25.


Obama expounds the limits of Iran’s anti-semitism

May 23, 2015

Obama expounds the limits of Iran’s anti-semitism, Power LineScott Johnson, May 22, 2015

Assuming that Obama intends his remarks to be taken seriously, which I don’t, I find Obama’s comments among the stupidest and most ignorant he has ever uttered, although I concede on this point that that the competition is stiff.


In the course of his recent interview of President Obama — painful reading from beginning to end — Jeffrey Goldberg asked a somewhat challenging question regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran. “You have argued,” Goldberg observed, “that people who subscribe to an anti-Semitic worldview, who explain the world through the prism of anti-Semitic ideology, are not rational, are not built for success, are not grounded in a reality that you and I might understand. And yet, you’ve also argued that the regime in Tehran—a regime you’ve described as anti-Semitic, among other problems that they have—is practical, and is responsive to incentive, and shows signs of rationality.” Oh, wise man, how do you square this particular circle? Obama responded:

Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country—

Goldberg (unfortunately) interrupted him at this point. Obama then continued:

They may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest. But the costs here are not low, and what we’ve been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That’s what the sanctions represent. That’s what the military option I’ve made clear I preserve represents. And so I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but that they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in, and on that basis they are then willing and prepared potentially to strike an agreement on their nuclear program.

This appears to have been good enough for Goldberg, but it should make a serious man cry. Let me count the ways.

Obama is in the process of finalizing an absurd arrangement with Iran that will at the same time obviate the cost of its pursuit of nuclear weapons and reward the regime for entering into the arrangement. They will reap the economic rewards of taking advantage of President Obama’s surrender to their (absurd) terms.

The Islamic Republic continues its program of ideological anti-Semitism and regional expansion. We await Obama’s “ratchet.” The regime evidently fears it not. This is glorified hot air.

Obama reiterates “military option [he’s] made clear[.]” The word “clear” here is the tell; it demonstrates that Obama is lying. There is no United States military option. Indeed, Obama’s public relations work on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran is suggestive of its removal from the shelf.

How does a seriously committed anti-Semitic regime weigh the costs and benefits of its anti-Semitism? I long for Professor Obama to draw from the well of his historical learning to apply the cost-benefit analysis to the Nazi regime of 1933-1945. Somebody get this man a copy of Lucy Dawidowicz’s The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945.

The Israelis draw the lesson they refer to in the slogan “Never again.” Emanuele Ottolenghi offers reflections that are precisely on point.

How does Professor Obama apply his cost-benefit analysis to the Iran’s 1979 bombing of the AMIA (Jewish) in Buenos Aires? It targeted Jews and killed 85 people. What costs was Iran prepared to incur? What costs has Iran incurred? The applicable cost-benefit analysis might illuminate how Iran thinks about the prospect of “eliminating” Israel by means of its proxies and with the nuclear weapons it is striving at all cost to obtain.

As for the regime’s alleged need to maintain a “semblance of legitimacy” inside Iran and therefore its alleged need to “get themselves out of a deep economic rut,” what does he mean? Obama is not saying that the regime lacks a semblance of legitimacy inside Iran at present. Obama himself continues to provide the regime something more than a “semblance of legitimacy.” Is the Supreme Leader feeling the pressure? No one outside Obama’s circle of friends can take this at face value.

Assuming that Obama intends his remarks to be taken seriously, which I don’t, I find Obama’s comments among the stupidest and most ignorant he has ever uttered, although I concede on this point that that the competition is stiff.

NOTE: Noah Rothman also takes a stab at doing justice to Obama’s comments here. It occurs to me that the words of Walter Laqueur in connection with Jan Karski’s mid-war report on the Holocaust in his book The Terrible Secret also apply here: “Democratic societies demonstrated on this occasion as on many others, before and after, that they are incapable of understanding political regimes of a different character….Democratic societies are accustomed to think in liberal, pragmatic categories; conflicts are believed to be based on misunderstandings and can be solved with a minimum of good will; extremism is a temporary aberration, so is irrational behavior in general, such as intolerance, cruelty, etc. The effort needed to overcome such basic psychological handicaps is immense….Each new generation faces this challenge again, for experience cannot be inherited.” In Obama’s world, I would add, experience can’t even be experienced. Ideological blinders render him obtuse (again assuming his words are to be taken at face value, which I don’t).

How the Islamic Republic Is Manipulating the U.S.

May 19, 2015

How the Islamic Republic Is Manipulating the U.S., Front Page Magazine, May 19, 2015


Rouhani and the moderate camp have persuaded Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that superficial diplomatic ties with the Obama administration will, in fact, empower the Islamic Republic, further its hegemonic ambitions, and raise Tehran’s economic status without the need for the Iranian leaders to give up on their revolutionary principles, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.


There is a crucial Machiavellian (but not a strategic) tactical shift in the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy and its pursuit of regional preeminence.

First of all, Iranian leaders have realized that by superficially showing the Obama administration that the Islamic Republic is willing to restore diplomatic ties with his administration, they can in fact further advance their ideological and national interests.

Second, knowing that President Obama is desperate for a “historic” nuclear deal and the establishment of diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic, Iranian leaders have played the role very well by attempting to satisfy President Obama’s empty goals.

Third, the ruling clerics of the Islamic Republic became cognizant of the fact that dealing with the Obama administration does not necessarily mean that they have to give up anything with respect to its domestic suppression, revolutionary Islamist principles, human rights abuses, regional hegemonic ambitions, anti-Americanism, hatred towards Israel, and foreign policy objectives.

The tactical shift, currently, is to satisfy President Obama’s personal and shallow objectives by allowing him to project that he is making historic moves (such speaking on the phone with the Iranian leaders), while simultaneously pursuing their own ideological objectives.

For example, most recently, Rouhani and the Obama administration agreed on opening new diplomatic offices in Tehran and Washington. For President Obama, opening diplomatic offices can be viewed as another “historic move” cited in his records or on his Wikipedia page. From the perspective of Iranian leaders, it is a crucial pillar for the advancement of Iran’s foreign policy and ideological objectives in the region without pressure from the US.

To pursue their objectives more efficiently, Iranian leaders have agreed to meet frequently with the diplomats at the highest level of the Obama administration, “negotiating,” and having some of their interactions publicly televised on American and Western media. In addition, the American and the Iranian flags are repeatedly shown next to each other in the high level meetings.

These moves, in fact, give legitimacy to the theocratic regime to further its ambitions.

The president was also delighted to make another “historic move” by speaking on the phone with his Iranian counterpart, President Hassan Rouhani. (One would wonder what a great accomplishment it is to pick up a phone and call another president.)

Washington and Tehran broke diplomatic ties in 1979. After the hostage crisis, high American officials and diplomats have not set foot on the Iranian soil due to Iran’s continuous violation of international norms and anti-Americanism.

Nevertheless, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have decided to turn a blind eye on Iran’s egregious human rights abuses, aggressiveness and violations of international laws.

In another shallow move, Kerry claimed to be proud to set foot on Iranian “territory.” He met with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the residence of the Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Gholamali Khoshroo, in New York.

Instead of attempting to change the behavior of the Ayatollahs and their revolutionary principles, President Obama and Kerry are satisfied with these superficial “historic moves.”

Since Iran’s political establishments and policies are driven, not solely by national and geopolitical interests, but also by ideological Islamist (Shiite) principles, hardliners and the office of the Supreme Leader will always view a real rapprochement with the US as taboo.

Restoring full diplomatic ties can also be analyzed as betraying the revolutionary principles of the Islamic Republic, which were based on anti-Americanism, as well as their opposition to Western models of socio-political and socio-economic landscapes.

From the perspective of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — who has the final say in foreign policy decisions — genuine diplomatic ties with the US will lead to the empowerment of Iranian civil society and secular factions. From the prism of the senior cadre of the IRGC, relationships with the American government might lead to the opening of the Iranian market, endangering the economic monopoly of IRGC institutions.

On the other hand, Rouhani and his technocrat team, who share the same objectives with the hardliners and want to preserve the interests of the Islamic Republic, came to the realizations that satisfying President Obama’s superficial and shallow objectives of “historic moves,” can indeed assist them in advancing their ambitions.

In conclusion, similar to the ongoing nuclear negotiations, Rouhani and the moderate camp have persuaded Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that superficial diplomatic ties with the Obama administration will, in fact, empower the Islamic Republic, further its hegemonic ambitions, and raise Tehran’s economic status without the need for the Iranian leaders to give up on their revolutionary principles, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

IRGC Deputy Commander Salami: “We Welcome War with the Americans”

May 14, 2015

IRGC Deputy Commander Salami: “We Welcome War with the Americans”, MEMRI via You Tube, May 14, 2015

(Does Iran really believe Obama’s “all option are on the table” nonsense, which hardly anyone credits? — DM)

In an Iranian TV interview, IRGC Deputy Commander Hossein Salami threatened the Americans, saying: “We welcome war with the Americans.” The U.S. aircraft carriers would be destroyed, its air bases in the region burned, and the skies set ablaze, he said. “We have built our strength for the purpose of long, extended wars… more than for the purpose of peace, compromise, and dialogue with them,” said Salami. The interview aired on the Iran TV’s Channel 1 on May 6, 2015.