Pentagon Chief Carter in Israel Seeks Deeper Military Ties - Robert Burns (AP)
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday he has no expectation of persuading Israeli leaders to drop their opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, but will instead emphasize that the accord imposes no limits on what Washington can do to ensure the security of Israel and U.S. Arab allies.
Israeli officials insist they are not prepared to discuss American "compensation" for the Iran deal, saying that would imply acceptance of the accord.
See also Netanyahu: Why Would U.S. Compensate Israel for a Good Iran Deal? (ABC News)
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said Sunday on ABC's "This Week":
"Everybody talks about compensating Israel. I guess the question is, if this deal is supposed to make Israel and our Arab neighbors safer, why should we be compensated with anything?"
"How can you compensate our state against a regime that's going to get billions of dollars for terrorist activities?"
Hizbullah Arrests 175 of Own Men for Refusing to Fight in Syria (Times of Israel)
Hizbullah has arrested 175 of its own fighters after they refused to fight in the Syrian city of Zabadani, Israel Radio said Saturday.
Asharq al-Awsat reported that Hizbullah fighters have begun to show reluctance to confront rebel groups after 120 Hizbullah fighters were killed and another 200 were wounded in recent clashes.
Hamas Getting Supplies for Rockets and Tunnels through Israel - Avi Issacharoff (Times of Israel)
Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza, members of Hamas, are continuing to build new attack tunnels to reach Israel in the next war and smuggling tunnels to Sinai.
Hamas is putting an enormous amount of effort, personnel and money into digging with heavy engineering equipment.
Israel has discovered that material vital to the tunnel industry, as well as material for rocket manufacture, is being smuggled from Israel into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom border crossing.
Recent seizures at Kerem Shalom uncovered enough rocket fuel for 4,480 20-km.-range rockets. The fuel had been concealed in bags containing a different material.
Also seized was one ton of "solidifying material," an ingredient used in rocket production, enough for 50 80-km.-range rockets.
Weizmann Institute of Science Ranked 10th in World for Quality of Research - Ido Efrati (Ha'aretz)
The Weizmann Institute of Science has been ranked 10th in the world for the quality of its research, the only institution outside the U.S. to make the top 10.
The ranking was conducted by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in The Netherlands, which analyzed 750 research institutions worldwide.
The ranking is based on the number of scientific articles published by the institution's scientists and the number of citations these publications generate.
In 2010-2013, Weizmann Institute researchers published 2,414 scientific articles, which were cited 27,859 times.
Ethiopian Israeli Appointed Associate Professor at Tel Aviv University - Ilan Ben Zion (Times of Israel)
Dr. Anbessa Teferra, an expert in Semitic linguistics at Tel Aviv University, last month became the first Ethiopian Israeli to be appointed a senior lecturer - the equivalent of associate professor in the U.S.
Teferra immigrated to Israel in 1990 after completing his master's degree in linguistics in Addis Ababa and has taught Ethiopian languages in Israel since 1993.
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- Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei Says Nuclear Deal Won't Change Policy toward U.S. - Aresu Eqbali and Asa Fitch
Iran will uphold its anti-American policies and continue to support regional allies inimical to Western interests, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday. "Our policy regarding the arrogant U.S. government will not change," Khamenei said, as he hailed the nuclear deal as a win for Iran.
(Wall Street Journal)
See also Khamenei Hails His People for Demanding Death to America and Israel
In a viciously anti-U.S. speech on Saturday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised "the slogans of the people of Iran....You heard 'Death to Israel,' 'Death to the U.S.'...We ask Almighty God to accept these prayers by the people of Iran." (Times of Israel)
See also Khamenei: Iran Will Never Negotiate with the U.S. on Regional Issues
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei said Saturday that the world powers have been making efforts over the past 10-12 years to halt Iran's nuclear industry, but they finally had no option but to "tolerate" thousands of centrifuges in Iran and the continuation of the country's research and development plan. "This is the outcome of the Iranian nation's resistance and bravery." The Leader added that Iran would never negotiate with the U.S. on mutual, regional and international issues.
See also Text of Ayatollah Khamenei's Speech on July 18, 2015 (Ayatollah Khamenei-Iran)
- Iranian Parliament to Reject Restrictions on Iran's Access to Ballistic Missiles
"The [Iranian] parliament will reject any limitations on the country's access to conventional weapons, especially ballistic missiles," senior Iranian parliamentarian Seyed Mehdi Hashemi said Saturday. He underlined that restrictions on Iran's access to ballistic missiles are among issues that should be revised in the UN Security Council's draft resolution. Earlier Saturday, Commander of the IRGC Maj.-Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari underlined that there are still some concerns about the agreement and the relevant draft UN resolution. Iranian officials have underscored that the country's missile program is non-negotiable, stressing that the talks are limited to the nuclear issue.
Also, Deputy Commander of the IRGC for Political Affairs Brig.-Gen. Rasoul Sanayee Raad reiterated that "Iran's military capabilities, including access to ballistic missiles, are no bargaining chip" and that negotiations "will be merely confined to nuclear issues." (Fars-Iran)
- UN Set to Endorse Iran Nuclear Deal on Monday
The UN Security Council on Monday is set to endorse the nuclear deal with Iran and adopt a series of measures leading to the end of UN sanctions.
The draft resolution specifies that seven resolutions related to UN sanctions will be terminated when Iran has completed a series of steps to curb its nuclear program and the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that "all nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful activities." (AP-New York Times)
See also Vote on Iran Nuclear Deal Irks Congress - Michael R. Gordon and David E. Sanger
During the talks on limiting Iran's nuclear program, Secretary of State John Kerry argued that the UN Security Council should not vote on lifting sanctions on Iran until Congress had a chance to review the deal.
But he ran into a wall of opposition from Iran, Russia and the Europeans who argued successfully that Security Council action should come first, according to Western officials. The Iranians wanted to ensure a Security Council vote as soon as possible to get the international community behind a road map for sanctions relief.
(New York Times)
See also below Observations: Obama Lights Firestorm on Capitol Hill - Walter Russell Mead (American Interest)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu: Iran Deserves No Concessions Until It Ends Calls to Destroy Israel and U.S.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday:
"If someone thought that the extraordinary concessions to Iran would lead to a change in its policy, they received an unequivocal answer over the weekend in Iranian ruler Khamenei's aggressive and contrary speech. The Iranians aren't even trying to hide the fact that they will use the hundreds of billions that they will receive under this agreement in order to arm their terror machine and they are clearly saying that they will continue their struggle against the U.S. and its allies, first among them being Israel."
"Today Iran is arming terrorist organizations with missiles - tomorrow they will have the ability to arm them and themselves with much deadlier weapons. The agreement that was signed paves Iran's way to arm itself with nuclear weapons within a decade, if Iran decides to honor the agreement, and before then if it decides to violate it, as it usually does....As long as the Iranian leadership is encouraging calls of 'Death to America' and 'Death to Israel,' there is no reason to make any concessions to them." (Prime Minister's Office)
- Israel Arrests Hamas Murder Cell - Gili Cohen
Hamas members suspected of killing Malachi Rosenfeld and wounding three other Israelis in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank last month have been arrested, the Israel Security Agency announced Sunday. The cell was also responsible for a shooting two days earlier targeting an Israeli ambulance and other vehicles.
The attacks were directed by Hamas member Ahmed Najar, who was released from an Israeli prison as part of the 2011 Shalit deal and deported to Gaza. He then moved to Jordan, which he uses as a base from which to direct attacks against Israelis.
See also West Bank Murder Arrest: A Reminder of Shalit Deal's Price - Amos Harel
The arrest of the killers of Malachi Rosenfeld highlighted the ever-growing price of the 2011 prisoner exchange that freed kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
Hamas' West Bank terror network is now run mainly by prisoners freed in that deal. After leaving jail, they return to doing what they were doing before, because that's what they know best.
The person suspected of actually firing the gun that killed Rosenfeld, Maad Hamad, was arrested by the PA. Since the beginning of the month, the PA has arrested 250 people suspected of belonging to Hamas' military wing. Some are suspected of planning kidnappings or shooting attacks against Israelis, but in addition, some are suspected of planning attacks against senior PA officials.
See also Palestinians Freed in Shalit Deal Killed 6 Israelis since 2014 - Tamar Pileggi (Times of Israel)
- Iran Has Not Changed Its Nuclear Course - Interview with Olli Heinonen
The bottom line for me is that first of all Iran remains as a nuclear threshold state for years to come and after 10, 15 years it will have even more nuclear capabilities than before. And the second thing is that at least at this stage Iran has not changed its nuclear course. It maintains its uranium enrichment, it provides some additional access, but I'm surprised that regarding the Additional Protocol (which requires states to provide an expanded declaration of their nuclear activities and grants the IAEA broader rights of access to sites in the country), Iran will not ratify it until several years from now.
There are still deficiencies in this agreement with regard to access to the undeclared places, and the arbitration process in my view is much too long to be technically justified. Olli Heinonen served for 27 years at the IAEA as Deputy Director General and head of its Department of Safeguards, where he oversaw its efforts to monitor and contain Iran's nuclear program.
- The Limits of Engagement - Jackson Diehl
Is it fair to say that Obama's handling of Iran is comparable to Reagan's treatment of the Soviet Union? Obama deeply believes that what he calls engagement with Iran can lead the regime to embrace "a different path" during the decade its nuclear development will be on hold.
Reagan, in contrast, didn't believe the Soviet Communist leadership would change. He was a skeptic of the "detente" policy pursued by Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter, calling it "a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims." His goal was to do whatever he could to undermine and eventually destroy the regime, whether it was shipping arms to insurgents fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan, speaking out in favor of imprisoned dissidents or theatrically demanding that Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall.
Reagan's insight was that it was possible to strike deals with Moscow on nuclear arms while simultaneously waging an uncompromising Cold War. The most likely effect of Obama's engagement policy is not the implosion of the Islamic republic, but its perpetuation.
- What U.S. Leaders Have Never Understood about Iran - Amir Taheri
"American rulers have always dreamed of forcing us to change our behavior, and failed," Iran's "Supreme Guide," Ali Khamenei, said Saturday. "Five U.S. administrations took that dream to their graves. The present one shall have the same fate."
Earlier this month, President Obama officially recognized the Islamic Republic as a threshold nuclear state in exchange for dubious concessions by Tehran that have not yet even been endorsed by Khamenei, who has every intention of ignoring them at the first opportunity.
As a people and a culture, Iran is immensely attractive.
But the Khomeinist regime makes no secret of its intense hatred for Iranian culture, which it claims has roots in "the age of ignorance." To admire this regime because of Iranian culture is like admiring Hitler for Goethe and Beethoven. This regime has executed tens of thousands of Iranians, driven almost 6 million into exile, and deprived the nation of its basic freedoms. And not a single day has passed without this regime holding some American hostages.
Iran as a nation is a solid friend of America. Iran as a vehicle for the Khomeinist revolution is an eternal enemy. The only realistic strategy for the U.S. would be to help it stop being the Islamic Republic and become Iran again.
The writer was executive editor-in-chief of the Iranian daily Kayhan from 1972 to 1979.
(New York Post)
Obama Lights Firestorm on Capitol Hill - Walter Russell Mead (American Interest)
- The Obama administration's determination to take the Iran deal to the UN Security Council before Congress votes on the agreement has set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill, with leading Democrats joining Republicans in calling on the President to wait.
- On Thursday, Sen. Ben Cardin, the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined the Republican chair of the committee, Sen. Bob Corker, in calling on the White House to hold its horses at the UN until Congress votes. On Friday, the House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said: "I agree with Senators Cardin and Corker that the UN Security Council should wait to move ahead with a resolution implementing parts of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action until after Congress has completed its review of the agreement with Iran."
- If the Administration decides to press forward at the Security Council, the White House could face a serious revolt. if the President does an end run to the Security Council, many of the waverers will oppose him on procedural grounds. Voting to uphold the powers of Congress is much easier for Democrats than voting against the President on an important foreign policy issue.
- Given the length of this negotiation process and the enormous stakes involved, the Iran agreement really ought to have been framed as a treaty. The President knew very well that he could never get a two-thirds vote in the Senate required for a treaty, and he framed the deal as an executive agreement to avoid exactly the scrutiny and vote that the Constitution requires.
- The precedent he is setting changes the Constitution, essentially abrogating the treaty power of Congress any time a President can get a Security Council resolution to incorporate the terms of an executive agreement.
The writer is professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and professor of American foreign policy at Yale University.
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