Remember the $1.7 billion that the Obama administration rpaid to Iran in 2016 after the release of five Americans held by Iran? According to The Washington Times, the federal government traced the funds, only to discover the money was transferred to Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon; the Quds Force, Iran’s terrorist arm, which has an extensive history of murder, and Houthi rebels hoping to topple the Saudi Arabian government.
The retired head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special-operations division said on Wednesday the Obama administration squandered a chance to dismantle Hezbollah due in part to political motivations to clinch a nuclear deal with Iran.
Derek Maltz, who was in charge of a major law enforcement operation targeting Hezbollah’s trafficking of cocaine, said the United States cannot again succumb to political distractions that allow the Iranian-backed terrorist to continue its narcoterrorism campaign.
“There’s an old saying, opportunities come and go,” Maltz testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “In my personal opinion, having been the guy in charge of the special operations for ten years, we lost a gold opportunity to crush Hezbollah.”
The Trump administration is working on a “legislative fix” it claims it needs to remain in the Iran nuclear deal – despite numerous international agencies and bodies calling on Washington to honor the original agreement.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been meeting with congressional leaders “on a very active basis” to draw up legislation which will “fix” the Iran deal. The proposed changes will likely “strengthen the way the US enforces the agreement,” and could come as early as next week, according to the Associated Press.
The evidence is mounting that Iran is not only violating the spirit of the no-nukes deal, but that it is also violating its letter. The prologue to the deal explicitly states: “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons.” This reaffirmation has no sunset provision: it is supposed to be forever.
Yet German officials have concluded that Iran has not given up on its goal to produce nuclear weapons that can be mounted on rockets.
As Abba Eban observed, “Men and nations behave wisely when they have exhausted all other resources.” So it goes with America and the Iran deal. President Trump announced Friday that the U.S. would stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), even while he refused to certify under U.S. law that the deal is in the national interest. “Decertification,” a bright, shiny object for many, obscures the real issue — whether the agreement should survive. Mr. Trump has “scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.”
While Congress considers how to respond — or, more likely, not respond — we should focus on the grave threats inherent in the deal. Peripheral issues have often dominated the debate; forests have been felled arguing over whether Iran has complied with the deal’s terms. Proposed “fixes” now abound, such as a suggestion to eliminate the sunset provisions on the deal’s core provisions.
The core provisions are the central danger. There are no real “fixes” to this intrinsically misconceived agreement. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran is a party, has never included sunset clauses, but the mullahs have been violating it for decades.
Who knew progressives could look past the transgressions of murderous, human rights-violating theocracies to support free trade?
Among the talking points bouncing around the Iran Deal’s devoted echo chamber in the wake of President Trump’s decertification decision is one of proponents’ most honest and simultaneously sordid admissions: The JCPOA means big business for the West. As long as the money is good, let us all pretend we are not subsidizing the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad and protect the pact at all costs.
After nine months of deliberation, careful consideration and guidance from senior advisors, President Trump has a new, comprehensive strategy on how to deal with Iran.
Much of the focus in recent weeks has been on whether President Trump will recertify the Iran nuclear agreement. According to White House officials he will decline to recertify, technically keeping the U.S. in the deal. Congress will be responsible for either scrapping or decertifying the deal. If they fail to act within a given time period, the deal becomes invalid.
But President Trump’s Iran strategy goes well beyond the regime’s nuclear program and focuses on their broad, dangerous behavior and position as an enemy of the United States and the west.
For all the talk of “morons” Wednesday — did Rex Tillerson call Donald Trump a moron and what does that mean, if anything — the real issue for those not transfixed by media gotcha games is the certification, or not, of something truly moronic: the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA).
In normal times, devoid of mass murderers and endless natural disasters, the looming October 15 certification decision on this deal would be front and center in the national consciousness. It still should be because, ultimately, it is even more important than hurricanes and psychopathic killers. It’s about nuclear war.
Barack Obama was apparently fooled. A large segment of the Western populace, however, is quite aware of what jihadists and jihadist states are up to, but apparently not a large enough segment, since leaders keep on being elected and reelected who are allowing jihadists to destroy Western freedoms, undermine democratic states, and put citizens at risk for more jihad attacks.
A radioactive attack is inevitable, short of removing Iran from existance.
The United States is pushing U.N. nuclear inspectors to check military sites in Iran to verify it is not breaching its nuclear deal with world powers. But for this to happen, inspectors must believe such checks are necessary and so far they do not, officials say.
Although candidate Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, his administration has twice decided to remain in the deal. It so certified to Congress, most recently in July, as required by law. Before the second certification, Trump asked repeatedly for alternatives to acquiescing yet again in a policy he clearly abhorred. But no such options were forthcoming, despite “a sharp series of exchanges” between the president and his advisers, as the New York Times and similar press reports characterized it.
Many outside the administration wondered how this was possible: Was Trump in control, or were his advisers? Defining a compelling rationale to exit Obama’s failed nuclear deal and elaborating a game plan to do so are quite easy. In fact, Steve Bannon asked me in late July to draw up just such a game plan for the president — the option he didn’t have — which I did.
Here it is.
Iran could abandon its nuclear agreement with world powers “within hours” if the United States imposes any more new sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.
“If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time – not a week or a month but within hours – to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations,” Rouhani told a session of parliament broadcast live on state television.
Tehran’s violations of the deal have become public, including: exceeding limits on uranium enrichment and production of heavy water; illicit efforts at international procurement of dual-use nuclear and missile technology; and obstructing international inspection efforts (which were insufficient to begin with).
By dropping charges against major arms targets, the administration infuriated Justice Department officials — and undermined its own counterproliferation task forces.
WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.
“Iran had a significantly higher number of individuals, of course, at the beginning of this negotiation that they would have liked to have seen released,” one senior Obama administration official told reporters in a background briefing arranged by the White House, adding that “we were able to winnow that down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.”