Iran Renews Financial Aid to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Wake of Nuke Deal - Avi Issacharoff (Times of Israel)
After four months when Iran delayed transferring financial assistance to Hamas and Islamic Jihad because of budgetary concerns, it has in the last few days renewed the flow of money to Palestinian terror groups in Gaza - precisely because the new accord with the West gave it the confidence to do so.
Iran emerges from this accord strengthened, stable and with endless resources that will be directed to weaken Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf States and Israel by every means possible.
Arab States Fear Nuclear Deal Will Give Iran a Bigger Regional Role - Loveday Morris and Hugh Naylor (Washington Post)
Some Arab nations are worried that the Iran nuclear deal may allow Iran to fund proxy wars and extend its regional influence, with one Saudi diplomat describing the deal as "extremely dangerous."
"If sanctions are lifted, Iran will try even harder to redesign the region," he said. "Iran is trying to change the Middle East, and this is unacceptable to Sunnis."
Meanwhile, Iran's ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, describing the deal as a "great victory."
Canada to Keep Sanctions Against Iran Despite Nuclear Deal - Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail-Canada)
Canada will keep its sanctions in place - at least for now - despite the nuclear agreement Iran has reached with major world powers.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson issued a statement saying that Canada "will continue to judge Iran by its actions, not its words....We will examine this deal further before taking any specific Canadian action."
Iran Deal Puts Military Option Back on Table - Ron Ben-Yishai (Ynet News)
Since the success of the Iran deal depends on the goodwill of the Iranian leadership, which is notoriously untrustworthy, Israel should take the necessary precautions and prepare for an Iranian violation of the agreement.
From Israel's point of view, the agreement puts the military option back on the table and increases its urgency.
The Israeli government will now have to decide whether or not to attack Iran if and when the ayatollahs decide to make a break for a nuclear weapon.
Hizbullah will need to be attacked at the same time because it's clear that it will take a proactive role in any conflict between Israel and Iran.
More Planes, Missiles and Warships for Iran - Abbas Qaidaari (Al-Monitor)
In this year's budget, President Rouhani's administration increased Iran's defense budget by 32.5%.
Iranian Court Orders U.S. to Pay $50B in "Damages" - Adam Kredo (Washington Free Beacon)
An Iranian court on Monday issued a ruling fining the U.S. $50 billion for damages against the Islamic Republic, Iran's Fars news agency reported.
Iran Linked to Deaths of 500 U.S. Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan - Andrew deGrandpre and Andrew Tilghman (Military Times)
At least 500 U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan were directly linked to Iran and its support for anti-American militants.
Scores of American personnel were killed or maimed by highly lethal bombs known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) that Iran manufactured and supplied to Shiite militias.
Obama's Iran Deal Is a Reckless Bet - Michael Gerson (Washington Post)
With Iran, President Obama hopes to upend old strategies of isolation and sanctions, drawing a rival into a web of cooperation that ends up improving its behavior.
Yet there is no evidence that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a Gorbachev-like figure. Iran gives every indication of being an aggressive, revolutionary power.
Haggling over implementation of the deal will continue indefinitely.
Just as Obama has been loath to throw away the possibility of a deal by getting tough with Iran, he will be loath to throw away the reality of a deal by getting tough with Iran.
And the economic pressure that has influenced Iranian behavior in the past will be gone.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Obama Says Inspectors Get Access to "Any" Site in Iran. Is It True? - Rebecca Kaplan
President Obama said Tuesday that with the Iran nuclear agreement, "Inspectors will also be able to access any suspicious location. Put simply, the organization responsible for the inspections, the IAEA, will have access where necessary, when necessary." Under the agreement, inspectors will have continuous monitoring capabilities at known nuclear facilities like Fordow and Natanz. For other areas in the country, including military sites where there is suspected nuclear activity, IAEA inspectors will have to request access.
If inspectors have concerns that Iran is developing its nuclear capabilities at any of the non-official nuclear sites, they are allowed to request access and inform Iran of the basis for their concerns. If they can't come to an agreement for access within 14 days, the issue goes to a joint commission of the P5+1 powers, Iran, and the EU. They have another seven days to reach an agreement that must be supported by at least five of the eight members. That means 24 days could elapse between the time inspectors first request access to a suspicious site and the time they are allowed entry.
"It's not anytime, anywhere," said Sharon Squassoni, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Proliferation Prevention Program. Iran has a lot of room to "wiggle out of things" if they don't want to give inspectors access.
See also Iran Inspections Regime Is Weaker than Expected - Ilene Prusher
The scope of inspections promoted in April is looking quite different in July.
Dr. Ephraim Asculai, who worked at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission for 40 years and is now a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, says that the inspections regime in the Iran deal looks much weaker than had been touted just a few months ago. "If Iranians are presented with specific evidence, only then can the inspectors ask to go and see something. That's a Catch-22 because no one will show the Iranians real information on a plant that is concealed, because it probably involves spies and phone taps and sensitive information that no one will want to give away."
"Nothing is mentioned about access to scientists, technicians, engineers - that is not there. Another thing that is not mentioned is the possibility of taking samples outside declared nuclear installations."
In his speech Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said the deal had achieve all of Iran's objectives, the first and foremost of which was "to maintain and continue our nuclear activities." (Ha'aretz)
See also Text of the Iran Nuclear Deal (Washington Post)
- Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal - Thomas L. Friedman
In an interview, the president kept stressing one argument: Don't judge me on whether this deal transforms Iran, ends Iran's aggressive behavior toward some of its Arab neighbors or leads to detente between Shiites and Sunnis. Judge me on one thing: Does this deal prevent Iran from breaking out with a nuclear weapon for the next 10 years and is that a better outcome for America, Israel and our Arab allies than any other alternative on the table?
The president added: "I'm prepared to go further than any other administration's gone before in terms of providing [Israel] additional security assurances from the United States. The thing I want to emphasize is that people's concerns here are legitimate. Hizbullah has tens of thousands of missiles that are pointed toward Israel. They are becoming more sophisticated. The interdiction of those weapon flows has not been as successful as it needs to be....They're not just being paranoid. Iran is acting in an unconstructive way, in a dangerous way." (New York Times)
See also Obama Tries to Reassure Netanyahu on Iran Deal - Maya Rhodan
President Obama sought to reassure Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in a phone call Tuesday following the agreement on Iran's nuclear weapons program. Obama told Netanyahu that the nuclear agreement "will not diminish our concerns regarding Iran's support for terrorism and threats toward Israel." (TIME)
- Key Congressional Democrats Skeptical of Iran Deal - Manu Raju and Burgess Everett
Key Democrats are so far withholding support for the White House's Iran deal, worried that the plan would undermine national security, threaten Israel and too easily let Tehran escape punishing economic sanctions. Many of them will be in office beyond the end of Obama's term, so an affirmative vote means they will effectively own the deal when they face voters again. That means they could pay a dear price politically if the accord fails to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions and proves to be a failure.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu: Israel Not Bound by Iran Deal
In response to the signing of the Iranian nuclear deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday: "The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday. The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism. They've gambled that in ten years' time, Iran's terrorist regime will change while removing any incentive for it to do so. In fact, the deal gives Iran every incentive not to change."
"In the coming decade, the deal will reward the terrorist regime in Tehran with hundreds of billions of dollars. This cash bonanza will fuel Iran's terrorism worldwide, its aggression in the region and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing. Amazingly, this bad deal does not require Iran to cease its aggressive behavior in any way."
"This deal repeats the mistakes made with North Korea.
There, too, we were assured that inspections and verifications would prevent a rogue regime from developing nuclear weapons. And we all know how that ended. The bottom line of this very bad deal is exactly what Iran's President Rouhani said today: 'The international community is removing the sanctions and Iran is keeping its nuclear program.'"
"Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction. We will always defend ourselves." (Prime Minister's Office)
See also Israel's Security Cabinet Unanimously Rejects Nuclear Deal with Iran (Prime Minister's Office)
See also Netanyahu: If Not for Israel's Actions, Iran Would Have Nuclear Weapons (Prime Minister's Office)
- Opposition Leader Herzog to Work with Netanyahu Against Iran Deal
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Wednesday he would work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling coalition to thwart the Iran nuclear deal, in a show of cooperation. Herzog met with Netanyahu Tuesday for an update on the nuclear agreement. "I think [the deal] is bad for Israel. We will certainly cooperate when it comes to the security of Israel. As an Israeli patriot, this deal is dangerous," Herzog told Israeli news site Walla.
Herzog said the main dangers of the deal come from the lifting of sanctions that "immediately give Iran a lot of money and resources, which will reach our enemies at our borders. Now Iran is out of the cage and will become a regional tiger." (Times of Israel)
- Israel: Economic Boost from Nuke Deal Will Strengthen Iranian Regime - Itamar Eichner
Many Iranians rushed onto the streets of Tehran on Tuesday to celebrate what they see as a great victory, as officials in Jerusalem warned that the agreement will preserve Iran's nuclear capabilities, while making effective supervision very difficult.
An Israeli government official said Tuesday that Iran
will receive $500-700 billion over the next 15 years that will consolidate the ayatollahs' rule. "Iran can use the money within Iran itself to enforce its uncompromising rule. The money will not serve human rights or economic development....It will not lead to the government being replaced, but rather the opposite. The regime will only be strengthened. The economic boost that Iran will get will be used mainly to consolidate its aggressive and terrorist capacity in the area."
"Just this Friday [Iran] called for our destruction. They must be taken seriously," the official said. "This is a nation determined to establish a foothold in our region through ongoing terrorism. Until now, there have been economic limits to its activity outside Iran." (Ynet News)
- Obama's Complex and Costly Deal with Iran - Editorial
If the transformation of Iranian behavior the president hopes for does not occur, the deal on its nuclear program may ultimately prove to be a poor one - a temporary curb that, when it lapses, will enable a dangerous threshold nuclear state that poses a major threat to the U.S. and its allies.
The bargain's most immediate effect will be to provide Tehran with up to $150 billion in fresh assets from sanctions relief over the next year, funds that its leaders will probably use to revive the domestic economy but also to finance wars and terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Yemen and elsewhere. Though Mr. Obama has promised to mitigate that outcome with new support for Israel and U.S. Arab allies, one effect of the deal may be an increase in the sectarian bloodshed wracking the region, as well as the conventional threat to Israel.
See also Tehran's Nuclear Triumph - Editorial
The nuclear agreement with Iran all but guarantees that Tehran will eventually become a nuclear power, while limiting the ability of a future president to prevent it.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Why Israel Won't Be Celebrating the Iran Deal - Michael Oren
Virtually all Israelis are calling the nuclear arms deal with Iran disastrous.
There are international inspections of the Iranians' nuclear facilities but none that would actually catch them off guard. There are limits to the number of centrifuges with which Iran can enrich uranium to weapons grade, but not a single centrifuge will be dismantled. Iran can continue to research and develop more advanced technologies capable of producing nuclear weapons even faster. Most mystifying still, there is no demand that Iran cease promoting war throughout the Middle East and terror worldwide.
Israelis see an Iranian regime that will deceive inspectors and, in the end, achieve military nuclear capabilities. We see an Iranian nuclear program that, while perhaps temporarily curtailed, will remain capable of eventually producing hundreds of nuclear weapons.
Back in 1994, American negotiators promised a "good deal" with North Korea. Its nuclear plants were supposed to be frozen and dismantled. International inspectors would "carefully monitor" North Korea's compliance with the agreement and ensure the country's return to the "community of nations." North Korea never forfeited its nuclear plants and the inspections proved useless. Against all logic, a very similar deal has been signed with Iran.
Just last week, Iran's President attended a rally in Tehran where tens of thousands of protesters chanted "Death to America."
The present deal poses grave dangers not only to us, but ultimately to America and the world.
- Iran Nuclear Deal Leaves Big Questions - Robert Satloff
The Iran nuclear agreement maps Iran's emergence as a regional power, with the full blessing - even support - of the U.S. and the international community.
A deal originally conceived as trading sanctions relief for an end to Iran's nuclear program evolved into a deal trading sanctions relief for time-limited restrictions on Iran's ambitious nuclear plans.
According to the agreement, there is only one penalty for any infraction, big or small - taking Iran to the UN Security Council for the "snapback" of international sanctions. Yet all contracts signed by Iran up until that point are grandfathered in and immune from sanctions. That means one can expect a stampede of contracts - some real, many hypothetical - all designed to shield Iran from the impact of possible reimposition of sanctions, thereby weakening the impact of the punishment.
But the problem with snapback gets worse. The agreement states that Iran considers a reimposition of sanctions as freeing it from all commitments and restrictions under the deal. In other words, the violation would have to be really big for the Security Council to blow up the agreement. That effectively gives Iran a free pass on all manner of small to mid-level violations. The writer is executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
(New York Daily News)
Major Problems with the Iran Deal - Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer (Washington Post)
- The deal with Iran is breathtaking in its concessions to a regime that is the foremost sponsor of terror in the world, is on a march of conquest in the Middle East, is responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of U.S. soldiers, and vows and works to annihilate the one and only Jewish state.
- The deal leaves Iran's nuclear capabilities essentially intact and allows Iran to improve those capabilities by conducting research and development on advanced centrifuges and building intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear warheads.
- To keep Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions in check over the next decade, the P5+1 countries are relying on intelligence and inspectors. But it was years before either the U.S. or Israel knew that Iran had secret facilities at Natanz and Fordow. As for inspections, Iran has been deceiving the International Atomic Energy Agency for years about the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.
- There is no linkage whatsoever between the removal of restrictions on Iran's nuclear program and Iran's behavior. In 10 years, Iran could be even more aggressive toward its neighbors, sponsor even more terrorism around the globe and work even harder to destroy Israel, and the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program would still be automatically removed.
- Because states throughout our region know that the deal paves Iran's path to the bomb, a number of them will race to get nuclear weapons of their own. Nuclear terrorism and nuclear war would become far more likely.
- Israel has the most to gain if the Iranian nuclear issue is peacefully resolved, but this deal makes things much worse, increasing the chances of conventional war with Iran and its terror proxies today and dramatically increasing the chances of a nuclear-armed Iran and a nuclearized Middle East tomorrow.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.