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Tag Archives: The Iran Nuclear Deal


Iran Displays Missile, Calls Trump ‘Crazy’ in Marking 1979 U.S. Embassy Takeover

By Babak Dehghanpisheh • Reuters

Iran put a ballistic missile on display as thousands marched on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the U.S. embassy, with a senior official accusing President Donald Trump of a “crazy” return to confrontation with Tehran.

Turnout for the annual Iranian street rallies commemorating the embassy takeover, a pivotal event of the Islamic Revolution, appeared higher than in recent years when Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama pursued detente with Tehran.

Last month, Trump broke ranks with European allies, Russia and China by refusing to re-certify Iran’s compliance with its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, reached during Obama’s tenure. Under that deal, most international sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for Tehran curbing nuclear activity seen to pose a risk of being put to developing atomic bombs. Continue reading


Iran on Pathway to Fully Restart Nuclear Weapons Program

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran is on the pathway to fully restarting its contested nuclear weapons program due to insufficient international inspections of its military sites and caveats in the landmark nuclear deal that permit it to reengage in nuclear enrichment work within the next several years, according to experts who testified Wednesday before Congress.

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s expected announcement to decertify Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal, top lawmakers on the House Foreign Affairs Committee urged the administration to preserve the agreement and focus on more aggressive enforcement. Continue reading


The Conservative Politics of the Iran Deal

By Matthew RJ Brodsky • National Review Online

Republicans have more or less coalesced into two primary political camps regarding the nuclear deal with Iran. Call them “the Fixers” and “the Walkers.” Both see the agreement as fundamentally flawed and would never have offered what the Obama administration gave away. They recognize the deal as both technically and structurally deficient, setting Iran on a patient path toward nuclear weapons while tying America’s hands until the Iranian nuclear program is industrial in scale, lethal in scope, and too costly and difficult to destroy from the outside.

While sharing the same objective vis-à-vis Iran, the two camps differ on the strategy for preventing such an outcome and thus favor divergent paths to reestablish American leverage. Their conflicting aims will become all the more pronounced once President Trump withholds his certification of the deal as a first step down one path or the other. Continue reading


The Obama Administration’s Iran-Deal Duplicity

National Review

In January 2016, the Obama administration released seven Iranian-born prisoners in what President Barack Obama called a “one-time” “humanitarian gesture” intended to sweeten the nuclear deal hammered out between Washington, D.C., and Tehran. The prisoners — who Josh Earnest insisted were guilty only of “sanctions violations or violations of the trade embargo” — were exchanged for five Americans, unjustly held by Iran since as early as 2011. In fact, some of the Iranian prisoners were national-security threats, and it wasn’t a straight prisoner swap: The Wall Street Journal revealed that on the day of the exchange the U.S. flew $400 million in cash on an unmarked cargo plane to Iran.

When it came to its negotiations with Iran, duplicity was the hallmark of the previous administration’s public statements. (Sanctimonious preening was a close second.) But supporters assured skeptics that the administration was acting in the country’s best national-security interests. Now comes a new bombshell investigation that shows the lengths to which the previous administration went to secure Iranian cooperation, even when it meant putting American security at risk. Continue reading


Iran Using U.S. Cash to Fund Unprecedented, Massive Military Buildup

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran is using the billions in cash resources provided under the landmark nuclear deal to engage in an unprecedented military buildup meant to transform the Islamic Republic’s fighting force into an “offensive” juggernaut, according to a largely unreported announcement by Iranian military leaders that has sparked concern among U.S. national security insiders and sources on Capitol Hill.

Iranian officials announced late last month that Iran’s defense budget had increased by 145 percent under President Hassan Rouhani and that the military is moving forward with a massive restructuring effort aimed at making it “a forward moving force,” according to regional reports.

Iranian leaders have stated since the Iran deal was enacted that they are using the massive amounts of cash released under the agreement to fund the purchase of new military equipment and other armaments. Iran also has pursued multi-million dollar arms deals with Russia since economic sanctions were nixed as part of the deal. Continue reading


Trump Admin: Iran in Breach of Nuke Deal

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

In a vast departure from the Obama White House, the Trump administration went on record Wednesday to accuse Iran of being in violation of the landmark nuclear agreement as a result of its recent test of ballistic missile technology, according to a senior White House official, who said that Iran has officially been put “on notice.”

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, accused Iran of breaching international accords governing the nuclear agreement. He lashed out at the Islamic Republic for threatening American military assets in the Persian Gulf region.

Flynn’s remarks represent a break with the previous administration, which worked to hide Iranian transgressions and declined to publicly state that Iran’s behavior violated the nuclear deal. Continue reading


Sanctioned Iranian Airlines Ferrying Illicit Weapons to Tehran

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Two airlines sanctioned by the United States for enabling Iran’s global terrorist operations appear to have played a central role in moving illicit missile components from Ukraine to the Islamic Republic, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Ukrainian authorities confirmed this week they had seized a shipment of missile system components bound for Iran, which could put the Islamic Republic in violation of international bans prescribed under the nuclear agreement.

Video of the seizure show Ukrainian authorities uncovering 17 boxes of missile parts bound for Iran and meant to be used in its Fagot anti-tank guided missile system.

Sources familiar with the incident told the Free Beacon that the airlines involved in this illicit activity have long been sanctioned by the United States for providing support to Iran’s global terror network. Continue reading


Congress Passes New Iran Sanctions, Ignoring Obama Admin Threats

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress unanimously voted on Thursday to level new sanctions on Iran, sending a clear message that lawmakers stand opposed to the Obama administration’s continued concessions to Tehran in the final months before it leaves office, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Obama administration, including Secretary of State John Kerry, made a final push in recent weeks to convince lawmakers to abandon the new sanctions, but lawmakers remained firm on Thursday, voting 99-0 to approve the new sanctions. Even Democrats who have supported the White House’s diplomacy voted in favor of the sanctions.

Senior Iranian officials have been adamant that new sanctions would violate last summer’s nuclear agreement and have threatened multiple times in recent months to walk away from the deal if the United States does not meet all of its demands under the deal. Continue reading


Obama Admin Covering Up Key Iran Deal Details in Final Days

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Senior Obama administration officials in their final days in office are seeking to cover up key details of the Iran nuclear deal from Congress, according to documents and sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about continued efforts by the White House to block formal investigations into secret diplomacy with Tehran that resulted in a $1.7 billion cash payment by the United States.

As leading members of Congress petition the Obama administration for answers about what many describe as a $1.7 billion “ransom” payment to Iran, Obama administration officials are doubling down on their refusal to answer questions about the secret negotiations with Iran that led to this payment. Continue reading


Congress Moves to Block Obama Admin’s ‘Ransom Payments’ to Iran

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress is set to consider new legislation that would block the Obama administration from awarding Iran billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in what many describe as a ransom payment, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) will introduce on Tuesday new legislation that would prohibit the Obama administration from moving forward with all payments to Iran, according to the bill, which would also force Iran to return billions of dollars in U.S. funds that have already been delivered to Tehran by the White House.

Rubio’s bill—a version of which is also being introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.)—would mandate that Iran pay American victims of terrorism some $53 billion in reparations for past attacks planned and coordinated by the Islamic Republic. Continue reading


Iran conducts 4th missile test since signing nuke deal

Two days before the anniversary of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile using North Korean technology, multiple intelligence officials tell Fox News.

By Lucas TomlinsonFoxNews.com

The test, in violation of a UN resolution, failed shortly after liftoff when the missile exploded, sources said. The effort occurred on the evening of July 11-12 near the Iranian city of Saman, an hour west of Isfahan, where Iran has conducted similar ballistic missile tests in the past.

It would be at least the fourth time Iran has launched or attempted to launch a ballistic missile since the nuclear accord was signed on July 14, 2015.

Iran is barred from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years under UN Resolution 2231, which went effect July 20, 2015, days after the nuclear accord was signed.

Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not include provisions preventing Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests.

Iran claims its ballistic missile tests are legitimate because they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

The most recent test was the first time Iran attempted to launch a version of the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach.

The extent of North Korea’s involvement in the failed launch is not immediately clear, apart from North Korea sharing their technology, according to officials.

North Korea has had its own difficulties launching the Musudan missile of late.

Since April, North Korea has failed five consecutive times in launching one. But late last month, North Korea succeeded in putting into space a Musudan, which later splashed down 250 miles from North Korea into the Sea of Japan.

The U.S. military recently announced, over Chinese objections, that it would deploy an advanced anti-ballistic missile system known as THAAD into South Korea as a result of the gains in North Korean missile technology.

There was no immediate reaction from U.S. Central Command when asked for comment about the failed Iranian missile launch.

In an interview with Fox News in Baghdad Thursday, the head of Central Command, responsible for military operations in the Middle East, said Iran continues to cause trouble in the region.

“Iran’s behavior hasn’t significantly changed as a result of the nuclear agreement,” said Gen. Joseph Votel. “They continue to pursue malign activities, and they continue to foment instability in areas where we need stability so I remain concerned about that continued behavior.”

Reuters reported last week that a confidential report by UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Iran’s ballistic missile program “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal, but left it up to the UN Security Council to decide if Iran is in violation of UN resolution 2231. Russia and China are permanent members of the five-nation UN Security Council, and both have expressed reservations in the past about punishing Iran about its missile tests.

The Security Council is due to discuss the UN chief’s report on July 18.

Russia shipped components of an advanced third-generation air defense system to Iran earlier this year, drawing outrage from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. While the State Department is “opposed” to the deal, it does not violate either the nuclear agreement nor UN resolution 2231, according to a spokesperson.

In March, Iran sparked international condemnation when it test-fired two ballistic missiles, one emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew.

Iran conducted separate ballistic missile tests in October and November.

In March, appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Votel was asked about Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities. He testified that Iran “may in fact be more aggressive in the days since the [nuclear] agreement.”

Votel told lawmakers the United States should continue to “expose” Iran for the role they play in the region, including its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, responsible for dropping barrel bombs on his own people, according to Votel.

He told Fox News aboard USS New Orleans, a 684-foot warship loaded with 650 Marines transiting the Strait of Hormuz this week that Iran should be “held accountable” for capturing 10 US Navy sailors in January at gunpoint and holding them for a day.

An Iranian missile boat and four other armed small boats shadowed New Orleans just miles from Iranian shores as she made her way though the strait, coming within 500 yards of the U.S. Navy warship. Such action by Iran has become routine, according to Navy officials.

Since December, Iran has shipped out its low-enriched uranium, disabled its heavy water reactor in Arak, and sold more than $8 million worth of heavy water to the U.S. government in compliance with the nuclear deal.

In January, the UN’s nuclear watchdog declared that Iran had met its provisions in the nuclear deal, which ended many Western economic sanctions unlocking billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

In recent days, Iranian officials have voiced plans to conduct more tests.

“Iran will strongly continue its missile program based on its own defense and national security calculations,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on the ministry’s website.


Truth Catches the Iran Deal

Obama trumpets an agreement that Tehran violates at every turn.

By Bret StephensWall Street Journal

What diplomats call the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—known to the rest of us as the Disastrous Iran Deal—was agreed in Vienna a year ago this week. Now comes a status update, courtesy of our friends at the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, or BfV.

In its fascinating 2015 annual report, published late last month, the German domestic intelligence service reports a “particularly strong increase” in the number of Salafists, describes the reach of Russian and Chinese espionage efforts in Germany, and notes a growing number of right-wing extremists.

Then there’s this:

“The illegal proliferation-sensitive procurement activities [by Iran] in Germany registered by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution persisted in 2015 at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level. This holds true in particular with regard to items which can be used in the field of nuclear technology.”

The report also notes “a further increase in the already considerable procurement efforts in connection with Iran’s ambitious missile technology program which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons. Against this backdrop it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

The BfV report arrived days before Germany arrested a Pakistani national, identified as Syed Mustufa H., accused of spying for Iran. It also corroborates another German report, this one from the intelligence service of North Rhine-Westphalia, that Iran’s nuclear procurement efforts have increased dramatically in recent years, from 48 known attempts in 2010 to 141 in 2015. Seven other German states have reported similar Iranian procurement efforts. This violates Iran’s explicit commitment to go through an official “procurement channel” to purchase nuclear- and missile-related materials.

All this was enough to prompt Angela Merkel to warn the Bundestag last week that Iran “continued to develop its rocket program in conflict with relevant provisions of the U.N. Security Council.” Don’t expect German sanctions, but at least the chancellor is living in the reality zone.

As for the Obama administration, not so much. For the past year it has developed a narrative—spoon-fed to the reporters and editorial writers Ben Rhodes publicly mocks as dopes and dupes—that Iran has met all its obligations under the deal, and now deserves extra cookies in the form of access to U.S. dollars, Boeing jets, U.S. purchases of Iranian heavy water (thereby subsidizing its nuclear program), and other concessions the administration last year promised Congress it would never grant.

“We still have sanctions on Iran for its violations of human rights, for its support for terrorism, and for its ballistic-missile program, and we will continue to enforce those sanctions vigorously,” Mr. Obama said in January. Whatever.

The administration is now weighing whether to support Iran’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That would neutralize a future president’s ability to impose sanctions on Iran, since WTO rules would allow Tehran to sue Washington for interfering with trade. The administration has also pushed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces anti-money-laundering standards, to ease pressure on Iran, which FATF did last month by suspending some restrictions for the next year.

And then there’s the Boeing deal to sell $17.6 billion worth of jets to Iran, which congressional Republicans led by Illinois’s Pete Roskam are trying to stop. Iran uses its civilian fleet to ferry weapons and fighters to its terrorist clients in Syria and Lebanon.

“The administration is trying to lock in the Iran deal and prevent a future president from doing anything, including pushing back on Iran’s malign behavior,” says the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz, who knows more about Iran sanctions than anyone in Washington. “Instead of curbing Iran’s worst behavior, the administration effectively facilitates it.”

One last detail: In June, the Journal’s Jay Solomon reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency had discovered “traces of man-made uranium” at Iran’s military facility at Parchin. The agency reported this finding in a footnote to a report in December, but the administration made no comment then and now dismisses it as old news. The IAEA is no longer allowed to inspect Parchin, or any other military installation, under the deal.

So let’s recap. Mr. Obama says Iran is honoring the nuclear deal, but German intelligence tells us Tehran is violating it more aggressively than ever. He promised “snapback” sanctions in the event of such violations, but the U.S. is operating as Iran’s trade-promotion agent. He promised “unprecedented” inspections, but we’re not permitted to inspect sites where uranium was found. He promised an eight-year ban on Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles, but Tehran violated that ban immediately and repeatedly with only mild pushback from the West. He promised that the nuclear deal was not about “normalizing” relations with a rogue regime. But he wants it in the WTO.

Is Mr. Obama rationalizing a failed agreement or did he mean to mislead the American public? Either way, truth is catching up with the Iran deal.


Congress Seeks Legal Recourse to Stop Obama Admin’s Secret Iran Giveaways

Claims Obama admin misled Congress about purchase of Iranian nuclear material

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

Congress is seeking legal remedies to block further concessions by the Obama administration to Iran, according to a leading member of the House Intelligence Committee, who told the Free Beacon that the administration has been systemically misleading Congress about the nature and scope of its giveaways to Iran.

Obama administration officials confirmed overnight that an $8.6 million deal to purchase nuclear material from Iran was functionally finalized in late April. The administration had in recent months refused to answer questions about the payment from lawmakers and journalists, claiming that the deal had not yet been finalized.

The revelation triggered condemnation from leading members of Congress as well as top nuclear experts, who linked the administration’s contradictory statements to efforts by U.S. officials to quietly promote Iran as a legitimate nuclear industry player and economic power. Continue reading


Iran ‘Blackmailing’ U.S. for Greater Nuke Concessions

Experts: Obama admin going above and beyond nuke deal to aid Iran

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

Obama Iran Nuke Deal, nuclearThe Obama administration is taking steps to aid and please Iran far beyond U.S. commitments under last summer’s nuclear accord, according to experts, who warned Tuesday during testimony on Capitol Hill that the White House is becoming “dangerously close to becoming Iran’s trade promotion and business development authority.”

The Obama administration’s efforts to boost Iran’s economy and resurrect its financial sector are not required under the comprehensive nuclear agreement, yet the White House is undertaking this role to soothe relations with the Islamic Republic, nuclear experts told the Senate Banking Committee.

Iran continues to threaten to walk away from the nuclear deal unless the U.S. administration agrees to further concessions beyond the deal, sparking accusations that Iran is effectively “blackmailing” the White House, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading


Ben Rhodes Reveals How Obama Duped America Into The Dangerous Iran Deal

President Obama—with the help of an equally arrogant 38-year-old national security fabulist, Ben Rhodes—remade the Middle East to empower America’s most hated enemy.

By David Reaboi      •     The Federalist

Obama Iran Nuke DealThere are few things in the world less popular in the United States than the Islamic Republic of Iran. As the then-new, optimistic promise of the Obama presidency beckoned in 2008, Gallup found that overall opinion of Iran in this country was 8 percent favorable and a dramatic 88 percent unfavorable. These numbers have been remarkably consistent over time; there’s no better evidence that, in the eyes of the American people, Iran is our enemy.

By 2009, the American people were well aware of the anti-American and anti-Semitic ranting of Iran’s then-president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and were worried about the Islamic Republic’s development of nuclear weapons and clear threats to use them. Even without Iran’s direction and sponsorship of militias killing of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq, the genocidal anti-Israel pronouncements of its leadership, death sentence on novelist Salman Rushdie, or efforts to advance the worldwide Islamic revolution on which the regime is based, the American people have not forgotten the 30 years of enmity since Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution.

However, even as the American people remained rightly skeptical of Iran in the last year of President Obama’s first term, the Obama White House had begun secret talks with the Ahmadinejad regime, which would result in the world’s acquiescence to Iran’s nuclear program. Continue reading


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