World Powers to Help Iran Protect Its Nuclear Facilities - Shlomo Cesana (Israel Hayom)
The nuclear deal with Iran guarantees that world powers will assist Iran in thwarting attempts to undermine its nuclear program.
Article 10 stipulates that world powers and Iran will foster "cooperation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran's ability to protect against, and respond to, nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems."
Recent years have seen various mishaps befall the Iranian nuclear program, from powerful computer viruses to the death of nuclear scientists, which world media outlets have often attributed to foreign intelligence agencies.
The clause did not appear in the interim deal in April, but was added to the final agreement at the last minute.
Inside Hizbullah's European Plots - Matthew Levitt (Daily Beast)
Three years ago, Hizbullah blew up a bus of tourists in Bulgaria. The EU then banned the military wing of Hizbullah.
The latest plot was thwarted in Cyprus, where Hussein Bassam Abdallah, a dual Lebanese-Canadian citizen, stockpiled 8.2 tons of ammonium nitrate, a popular chemical explosive.
Investigators believe the explosives used in the 2012 Burgas bus bombing may have come from the batch of chemicals stored in Cyprus.
New evidence reveals that Hizbullah's military wing is still plotting attacks across Europe. Hizbullah weapons and technology procurement continued in Europe as well.
The writer directs the Stein Program on Counterterrorism & Intelligence at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Vast Majority of Gazans Ready to Say that 2014 Conflict with Israel Was a Grim Defeat - Amira Hass (Ha'aretz)
A year after the Hamas movement assured the public that a war had ended yet again in victory and Jerusalem would be liberated the same way, the vast majority of Gazans are ready to say that the 2014 conflict with Israel was a grim defeat.
Hamas is having to impose new local purchase taxes to underwrite the ongoing activity of its ministries.
The ruins, together with the disabled and wounded from the wars, remain a common sight.
At 43% unemployment - 60% among young people - about half say they want to emigrate.
Hamas Executes Commander for Leaking Where Terror Chief Was Hiding - Jonathan Beck (Times of Israel)
Muhammad Shtiwi, a commander in the military wing of Hamas, was executed Monday for allegedly giving Israel information on the whereabouts of Hamas military chief Muhammad Deif during last summer's Gaza conflict, Hamas sources said.
Deif was targeted by an airstrike on Aug. 19, 2014, but survived.
Thwarting Iran's Regional Dominance - Abdulrahman al-Rashed (Al-Arabiya)
The Iranian regime is like a monster that was tied to a tree and finally set loose in our region. This means we are on the threshold of a new, bloody era.
Verbal promises from Washington will not be enough, and Iranian pledges will not reassure us.
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- UN Moves to Lift Iran Sanctions after Nuclear Deal - Somini Sengupta
The UN Security Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution that creates the basis for lifting international economic sanctions against Iran. The resolution takes effect in 90 days, a time frame that allows Congress to review the agreement.
U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the Council that sanctions relief would start only when Iran "verifiably" met its obligations under the deal. The EU also approved the Iran nuclear deal on Monday, putting in motion the lifting of its own sanctions.
(New York Times)
See also UN Backs Iran Deal, Infuriating Lawmakers from Both Parties - Julian Hattem (The Hill)
See also below Observations: "When the Villain Is Laughing, You Know Something Is Wrong" - Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor (Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN)
- Iran's Revolutionary Guards Denounce UN Resolution Endorsing Nuclear Deal - Bozorghmehr Sharafedin
Iran's Revolutionary Guards denounced the UN Security Council resolution endorsing last week's nuclear deal, saying it crossed "red lines" set by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The deal is still under review in Iran, where it must be endorsed by the National Security Council and later by Khamenei.
"Some parts of the (resolution) draft have clearly crossed the Islamic Republic's red lines, especially in Iran's military capabilities," Revolutionary Guards commander Mohammed Ali Jafari said. "We will never accept it."
Hossein Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Kayhan, a newspaper closely associated with Khamenei, wrote, "You can see some vital red lines of the Islamic Republic have not been preserved." Ahmad Bakhshayesh, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee in parliament, said, "The negotiating team was not supposed to negotiate on Iran's ballistic missile technology." (Reuters)
See also Iran Defense Minister Forbids International Inspections of Military Sites
Iran's Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Hossein Dehqan has ruled out any access to the country's military sites and information by foreign parties.
- UN Approves Accreditation for Hamas-Linked NGO - Edith M. Lederer
The UN approved accreditation Monday for the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Return Center. Israel had circulated a resolution, co-sponsored by the U.S., Australia and Canada, to the Economic and Social Council opposing the application, but the resolution was defeated on Monday in a 13-16 vote, with 18 abstentions.
Israel's Deputy UN Ambassador David Roet called the center "an essential part of the Hamas network in Europe," that recruits, radicalizes and encourages operatives to take up arms against Israel.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- U.S. Gambles on a Nuclear Agreement with Iran - Ariel E. Levite
The nuclear deal finally thrashed out in Vienna is fundamentally different from the package we were led to expect.
The U.S. has endorsed a deal that tries to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons by predominantly relying on positive inducements to get Iran to comply with its new formal commitments. These incentives include rapid normalization of Iran's status, lots of money and later on provision of conventional weapons and nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Iran's track record to date as well as its regime's character make this bet a huge gamble.
The writer, a senior associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was the principal deputy director general for policy at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission from 2002 to 2007. He also served as deputy national security adviser for defense policy and was head of the Bureau of International Security and Arms Control in the Israel Ministry of Defense.
- Why Netanyahu Deserves Credit for the Iran Nuclear Deal - Amos Harel
Until 2009, Tehran seemed to be moving confidently toward the bomb.
According to the memoirs of former leading members of the Obama administration, the Americans were genuinely apprehensive that Israel would mount an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in 2010, 2011 and 2012. More than any other factor, it was concern about a possible Israeli attack that induced Obama to impose an unprecedented series of sanctions on Iran. The sanctions, in turn, devastated the Iranian economy and led to Iran negotiating an agreement.
The most cogent allegation against the terms of the agreement, which is echoed by senior figures in the defense establishment, is concern about a sharp increase in Iran's regional influence. With Iran no longer globally isolated and with its economy recovering and the country demonstrating its strategic status as a regional power, Tehran will embark on vigorous activity across the Middle East, backed by its recouped wealth. (Ha'aretz)
- Israeli Opposition Leader: Iran Deal Will Bring Chaos to the Middle East - Jeffrey Goldberg
When I interviewed the leader of Israel's Labor Party, Isaac "Bougie" Herzog, at the Brookings Institution's Saban Forum last December, he said, in reference to nuclear negotiations with Iran: "I trust the Obama administration to get a good deal." When I spoke with him on July 15, Herzog's message was very different. The deal in Vienna, he said, "will unleash a lion from the cage, it will have a direct influence over the balance of power in our region, it's going to affect our borders, and it will affect the safety of my children."
Iran, he said, is an "empire of evil and hate that spreads terror across the region." Iran will take its post-sanctions windfall, he said, and use the funds to supply more rockets to Hizbullah in Lebanon and more ammunition to Hamas in Gaza. "There are clear risks to Israel's security in this deal."
"Most of the Israeli body politic is worried about the agreement, and people need to understand our worries. The world doesn't fully understand the fact that we are left here alone in this neighborhood, that there is a Shia empire that is trying to inflame the region with a heavy hand....We have respect for the United States, for this great ally and friend, and we don't want to be in a confrontation or clash. But we have to let people know that we think this is a dangerous situation." (Atlantic)
- The Iran Deal's Collapsing Rationale - Bret Stephens
On Thursday, Moscow confirmed that it will proceed with the sale to Iran of its state-of-the-art S-300 surface-to-air missile system, notwithstanding the Iran deal's supposed five-year arms embargo.
The sale means that a future president ordering airstrikes against Iran would do so against an adversary that can shoot American planes out of the skies.
Susan Rice insists that some of the $150 billion
Iran gets in sanctions relief might be spent on Iran's "bad behavior in the region."
So the U.S. government has agreed to release monies that it believes will be used to fund Iran's terrorist proxies on the intriguing rationale that, in order to prevent the Middle East from becoming a very dangerous place in the future, it is necessary to allow it to become a very dangerous place now.
Iran will get its money. It will redouble its bad behavior. And sooner or later it will probably get its bomb.
(Wall Street Journal)
- On Iran, Congress Should Just Say No - Eric Edelman and Ray Takeyh
A careful examination of the nuclear agreement with Iran reveals that it concedes an enrichment capacity that is too large; sunset clauses that are too short; a verification regime that is too leaky; and enforcement mechanisms that are too suspect. The scale of imperfection is so great that the judicious course is to reject the deal and renegotiate a more stringent one.
Prior to the 2013 interim accord, the Obama administration's position rested on relatively sensible precepts. The U.S. insisted that, given Iran's practical needs, it should only have a symbolic enrichment program of a few hundred centrifuges. These prudent parameters were overtaken by a cavalcade of concessions. The U.S. in effect abandoned the goal of preventing development of an Iranian nuclear capability in favor of managing its emergence. Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy from 2005 to 2009, is a scholar in residence at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
"When the Villain Is Laughing, You Know Something Is Wrong" - Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor (Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN)
Following the UN Security Council meeting on Iran on Monday, Israel's ambassador Ron Prosor said:
- Today, you have awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world. The international community is taking steps to lift the sanctions on Iran without first waiting to see if Iran complies with even a single obligation in the agreement.
- This agreement gives Iran a seat on the commission which will decide whether or not it has violated the agreement. This is like allowing a criminal to sit on the jury which will decide his own fate.
- You haven't changed Iran's destructive ideology, which goes beyond proliferating deadly weapons and funding terror. You have given the source of the problem - Iran - money, stability at home, and time to carry out its destructive ideology.
- You can find Iran's fingerprints in every corner of the globe, targeting innocent civilians, smuggling arms, financing terrorist groups, and engaging in illegal proliferation activity. Now, what did the world do to respond to Iran's growing empire of terror? It voted to empower it.
It voted to strengthen it.
It voted to fund their expansion.
- The Iranians are laughing in everyone's face. When the villain is laughing, you know something is wrong. When we hear laughter from a country whose Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, says that even after the agreement is signed, Iran will continue the battle against the United States, Iran will continue supporting terrorists in the Middle East and around the world - something is wrong.
- When we hear laughter from a country whose president, just days before the agreement was signed, marches at the head of a parade in Tehran in which American and Israeli flags are burned - something is wrong.
- We in Israel tend to take it seriously when someone threatens to destroy us. In future years, the consequences of this mistake will become clear to all, but for Israel, tomorrow is already too late.
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