Will Iran Self-Inspect Its Nuclear Program? - Jonathan S. Landay and William Douglas (McClatchy)
In a closed briefing on Tuesday, lawmakers were told that Iran would collect samples sought by the IAEA from Parchin, a military base near Tehran where suspected weapons-related research was once conducted.
"They're going to be able to test by themselves. Even the NFL wouldn't go along with this," said Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho). "We're going to trust Iran to do this?"
See also Iran Unlikely to Address Suspicions of Secret Weapons Program - Jay Solomon (Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. will never get to the bottom of Iran's efforts to build an atomic weapon, and Tehran won't be pressed to fully explain its past.
In a report to Capitol Hill last week, the administration said it was unlikely Iran would admit to having pursued a covert nuclear weapons program, and that such an acknowledgment wasn't critical to verifying Iranian commitments in the future.
Under the deal, Tehran is required by mid-October to give UN inspectors access to Iranian scientists, military sites and documents tied to a covert nuclear-weapons program in order to have international sanctions repealed.
Outside nuclear experts said understanding Iran's past nuclear work was critical to verifying the new agreement because it establishes a baseline for what Tehran has done in the past.
Iran Economic Recovery Will Accelerate Its Missile and Drone Development - Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Without connection to the nuclear talks, Iran will keep developing its missile program as it has done so far with considerable success, despite the weapons embargo.
Iran claims its missiles were not intended to carry nuclear warheads and are, therefore, outside the scope and jurisdiction of the Security Council's resolution.
Iran's expected economic recovery, along with its growing confidence after holding its own against the world powers and continuing to build up all the elements of its nuclear and missile programs, will likely accelerate its missile and drone development along with the transfer of missiles to the terror organizations that Iran supports all over the Middle East.
Iran wants to recast the region in its own image while continuing the process, already in full swing, of ejecting the U.S. from it.
The U.S. has, in fact, made peace with Iran's transformation into a regional power, without calculating the dangerous, long-term implications for itself and for its allies in the region.
Bahrain Disrupts Bid to Smuggle High-Grade Explosives - William Maclean
Bahrain authorities have disrupted an attempt to smuggle 44 kg. of high-grade C4 explosives and automatic weapons into the country by sea and have arrested two Bahraini suspects, the Interior Ministry said.
The two suspects admitted receiving the shipment from Iranian handlers, and that one of the two had received military training in Iran.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Israel Is Steadfast in Criticism of Nuclear Deal - Michael R. Gordon
On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry said the international community might blame Israel if Congress blocked the Iran nuclear accord. In response, an Israeli official said Saturday: "We reject the threats directed at Israel in recent days. The U.S. Congress will make its decision based on American interests, which include consideration of U.S. allies. The regrettable attempt to intimidate Israel will not prevent us from voicing our concerns about this deal, which poses direct threats to Israel's security."
Robert M. Danin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former State Department official, said: "It is striking that despite years of stepped-up consultations, there is such rancor and mistrust between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government....This failure to come to a common understanding, if not joint approach, is harmful to both American and Israeli interests." (New York Times)
See also Steinitz: Israel Gets to Express Its Opinion on Threats to Its National Security - Herb Keinon
Efforts to muzzle Israeli voices in the U.S. debate over the Iran nuclear accord are unacceptable, illogical and even immoral, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio on Sunday.
"To demand from a country which Iran threatens publicly to destroy, to wipe it off the map, that it not express its opinion on something so relevant for our national security, future and existence, is an illogical and even immoral demand."
"This hint that if the agreement will be rejected by Congress, then Israel will turn into a scapegoat, is unacceptable to us," he said. "Congress is sovereign to make any decision. If it rejects it, that means there is a big majority among the Republicans and also many Democrats who think the accord is not good and is full of holes, and needs to be rejected." (Jerusalem Post)
- Kerry Has "Intense Exchange" with Jewish Leaders over Iran Deal - Geoff Earle and Kevin Fasick
Secretary of State John Kerry had an "intense exchange" when he tried to sell the Iran nuclear deal to 120 skeptical Jewish leaders in New York on Friday from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the group's vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein, told the Post. The State Department had requested the meeting.
(New York Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- After the Iran Agreement - Yaakov Lapin interviews Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan
Maj.-Gen. (res.) Uzi Dayan, a former IDF deputy chief of staff, noted that without the U.S.-led diplomatic drive, which included waves of biting sanctions on Iran, Iran could have already gone nuclear.
"Iran is still not nuclear, and this is an achievement." However, "the deal is intolerable for Israel....Iran is the leading terrorist state, and received international approval to be a nuclear threshold state, despite the knowledge that Iran seeks to have nuclear weapons later on."
The Vienna agreement's level of inspections is far from what is desired.
"Inspections do not deter Iran. They allow it to cheat," he said. Moreover, the mechanism described in the deal for identifying and declaring Iranian violations "does not lead anywhere." "Those who trusted the U.S. for a good deal - there's nothing to trust. All of the states in the Middle East do not trust Washington for their security."
Should the agreement be ratified and implemented, Israel will have to take on the responsibility of warning about Iranian nuclear violations, according to Dayan.
Simultaneously, Israel should seek to tighten intelligence cooperation with the U.S. and establish ground rules about what should be done in case of an Iranian violation.
The Vienna accord pushes Israel into a space in which the country must defend itself without coordination with the free world, Dayan said. Yet striking now is "not the right thing to do. We can only do it when there is no choice. We can seriously harm the Iranian nuclear program, but we can't strike like the Americans for three consecutive months." (Jerusalem Post)
- Palestinian Rioters Attack Police on Temple Mount
Dozens of masked Palestinians hurled rocks, firebombs and firecrackers at police at the Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem Sunday morning, before being pushed back into the Al-Aqsa Mosque by security forces. The Palestinians had stockpiled explosives inside the mosque, with the intention of attacking thousands of Jewish worshipers gathered nearby for prayers at the Western Wall on Tisha B'Av, a fast day that commemorates the destruction of the first and second Jewish Temples.
(Times of Israel)
See also President, Ministers Condemn Arab Rioting on Temple Mount during Tisha B'Av - Daniel K. Eisenbud and Lahav Harkov (Jerusalem Post)
- Legally, Many Important Iran Sanctions Cannot Be Waived - David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey
Some of the U.S. statutes on Iran allow the president to lift certain sanctions. But many of the most important sanctions - including sanctions against Iran's central bank - cannot be waived unless the president certifies that Iran has stopped its ballistic-missile program, ceased money-laundering and no longer sponsors international terrorism. He certainly can't do that now.
The deal requires the removal of state and local Iran-related sanctions. That would have been all right if Mr. Obama had pursued a treaty with Iran, which would have bound the states, but the executive-agreement approach that he chose cannot pre-empt the authority of the states. That leaves the states free to impose their own Iran-related sanctions, as they have done in the past against South Africa and Burma. Rivkin and Casey are constitutional lawyers who served in the Justice Department under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
(Wall Street Journal)
- Taking the Deal or Opting for War: A False Dichotomy on Iran - Frederick W. Kagan
President Obama has framed the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement as a choice between taking the deal or opting for war. He challenges critics to articulate an alternative to the deal, claiming that there isn't one. This is a superb debating technique, but it is a false dichotomy. The choice at hand is between accepting this deal now or continuing to press and negotiate for a better deal later. Many critics of this particular agreement, including me, believe that it would be far preferable to sign a good deal with Iran than to go to war with Iran - but also believe that this is a very bad deal indeed.
There is historical precedent for thinking about the issue in this way. The Nixon administration signed the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) in 1972, and the Senate ratified it. The agreement did not have the desired effect. The Soviet nuclear stockpile expanded dramatically and the period of detente supposedly ushered in by that agreement ended with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The Senate refused to ratify SALT II, ending the SALT process, but war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union did not ensue. Both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan instead increased the pressure on the Soviet Union dramatically.
The lesson is that walking away from bad deals does not inevitably lead either to war or to the end of negotiations. Opposing the current deal is thus not in any way equivalent to favoring war. Nor is it a refusal to negotiate with Iran. Given how bad this deal is, opposing it is the only rational position to take. The writer, a former professor of military history at West Point, is director of the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute. (Washington Post)
Jews Stood Up to the U.S. Government 40 Years Ago, and Should Again on Iran - Natan Sharansky (Washington Post)
Like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation. Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed with Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel's best friend and ally, the U.S. government. As difficult as this situation is, however, it is not unprecedented. Jews have been here before, 40 years ago.
- In the early 1970s, Republican President Richard Nixon inaugurated his policy of detente with the Soviet Union, aiming to end the Cold War by normalizing relations. As Nixon moved to grant the Soviet Union most-favored-nation trade status, Democratic Sen. Henry Jackson proposed what became a historic amendment, conditioning the removal of sanctions on the Soviet Union's allowing free emigration for its citizens. Jackson's amendment sought to link improved economic relations to behavioral change by the USSR. The U.S. administration objected furiously.
- American Jewish organizations were reluctant to speak out against the U.S. government and appear to put the "narrow" Jewish interest above the cause of peace. Yet they realized that the freedom of all Soviet Jews was at stake, and they actively supported the policy of linkage. It was a Republican senator, Jacob Javits, who, spurred by a sense of responsibility for the Jewish future, helped put together the bipartisan group that ensured passage.
- In 1977, I was arrested and accused of high treason, allegedly as a spy for the CIA; in the indictment, Sen. Jackson was listed as my main accomplice. But in the end our cause was victorious and paved the way for the regime's eventual collapse.
- Today, an American president has once again sought to achieve stability by removing sanctions against a brutal dictatorship without demanding that the latter change its behavior. And once again, a group of outspoken Jews - leaders of the State of Israel from the governing coalition and the opposition alike - are sounding an alarm. The U.S. can either appease a criminal regime or stand firm in demanding change in its behavior.
The writer, a human rights activist and former political prisoner in the Soviet Union, is chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.