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
There 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
Obama administration repeats concern that Iran already violating nuke deal
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
The Obama administration shifted its stance on Iran’s contested nuclear program Wednesday, writing in a letter to the United Nations that it is concerned the international community’s nuclear watchdog organization is not fully reporting on potential Iranian violations of the nuclear deal.
The administration also renewed concerns about Iran having violated its international commitments by stockpiling too much nuclear-related material. The renewed concerns come after Iran repeatedly test fired ballistic missiles in violation of current U.N. resolutions.
Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, said earlier this week that the agency is prohibited by the nuclear agreement from publicly reporting on potential violations by Iran. Continue reading
By Russ Read • The Daily Caller
The head of U.S. intelligence believes that Iran’s recent actions speak loudly to its intentions, particularly given the country’s recent provocations since the Iran nuclear deal came into effect.
Testifying to the Senate Committee on Armed Services Tuesday, director of national intelligence James Clapper gave a very somber description of what he sees as Iran’s intentions toward the U.S. now that last summer’s nuclear deal has commenced. In particular, his statements offered little assurance that Iran is acting as an honest actor with the U.S. and the other states involved in last year’s negotiations, or that the nuclear deal will stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“Iran probably views JCPOA [Iran deal] as a means to remove sanctions while preserving nuclear capabilities, as well as the option to eventually expand its nuclear infrastructure,” said Clapper, who also noted that, so far, he sees no evidence that Iran is violating the nuclear deal. Continue reading
By Dave Clark and Nicolas Revise • Yahoo
The United States failed to manage its traditional Sunni Arab allies in the region while it reached out to mend ties with their bitter Shiite foes in Tehran.
As a result, experts warn, Washington has suffered a loss of influence at a time when it needs to implement the nuclear accord and work with both Tehran and Riyadh to end the Syrian war.
“I think the administration has had a one-eyed policy on this,” Salman Shaikh, founder and CEO of regional consultancy the Shaikh Group, told AFP. Continue reading
By Eli Lake & Josh Rogin • BloombergView
When the administration presented the agreement to Congress, lawmakers were told that new sanctions on Iran would violate the deal. Now the administration is trying to sidestep a recently passed provision to tighten rules on visas for those who have visited Iran.
Since the accord was struck last summer, the U.S. emphasis on complying with its end of the deal has publicly eclipsed its efforts to pressure Iran. In that time, Iranian authorities have detained two American dual nationals and sentenced a third on what most observers say are trumped up espionage charges. Iran’s military has conducted two missile tests, one of which the U.N. said violated sanctions, and engaged in a new offensive with Russia in Syria to shore up the country’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading
Obama admin promises new laws will not violate nuke deal
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
Secretary of State John Kerry is working to reassure Iranian leaders that recent congressional efforts to tighten counter-terrorism measures will not harm Iranian interests, according to a letter sent by Kerry to Iran’s foreign minister.
The assurances come following efforts by Congress to tighten restrictions in the visa waiver program, which they claim has gaping loopholes that may enable suspected terrorists to legally enter the United States with few background checks.
Iranian leaders expressed anger over the move in recent days, prompting senior Obama administration officials to convey their own concerns to lawmakers. Continue reading
by Yeganeh Torbati • Reuters
Addressing concerns that a landmark nuclear deal reached this year could boost Iran’s military power, the Obama administration reassured critics that it would maintain and enforce its remaining tough sanctions against the country.
Yet the U.S. government has pursued far fewer violations of a long-standing arms embargo against Iran in the past year compared to recent years, according to a review of court records and interviews with two senior officials involved in sanctions enforcement.
The sharp fall in new prosecutions did not reflect fewer attempts by Iran to break the embargo, the officials said. Rather, uncertainty among prosecutors and agents on how the terms of the deal would affect cases made them reluctant to commit already scarce resources with the same vigor as in previous years, the officials said. Continue reading
Iran, Russia, Syria, Iraq form joint war room
by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon
A senior Iranian military leader warned this weekend that “all U.S. military bases in the Middle East are within the range of” Iran’s missiles and emphasized that the Islamic Republic will continue to break international bans on the construction of ballistic missiles.
Much of this missile work, like the details of Iran’s advanced arsenal, remains secret, according to Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force. Continue reading
by Jonathan S. Tobin • Commentary Magazine
This morning, President Obama got what he’s been working toward all year. With Senator Barbara Mikulski’s announcement that she will vote to support the Iran nuclear deal, the administration got its 34th vote in the Senate, thus assuring that the president will have enough support to sustain a veto of a resolution of disapproval of the pact. Mikulski was just the latest of a number of Senate Democrats to throw in with the president on Iran. The only suspense now is whether Obama will get to 41 and thus have enough for a filibuster and prevent a vote on the deal from even taking place. Leaving aside the terrible damage the deal does to U.S. security and the stability of the Middle East, the most far-reaching effect of the deal is that from now on Democrats own Iran. From this moment forward, every act of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, every instance of Iranian aggression and adventurism as well as the Islamist regime’s inevitable march to a nuclear weapon can be laid at the feet of a Democratic Party. With a few exceptions, the Democrats fell meekly behind a president determined to prioritize détente with Iran over the alliance with Israel and the need to defend U.S. interests. By smashing the bipartisan consensus that had existed on Iran up until this year, the Democrats have, in effect, become the hostages of the ayatollahs. This is a decision that will haunt them in the years to come.
In analyzing the struggle that was ultimately won by Obama, it must first be acknowledged that the outcome was determined primarily by a mismatch in terms of the relative power of the two sides. Continue reading
The President on Wednesday secured a 34th supporter in the Senate, enough for him to veto disapproval without fear of an override, and he began pushing for additional votes that would enable supporters to let the pact stand without a roll call.
Although the fight is lost, the Senate owes the people an up-or-down vote on one of the most consequential foreign policy agreements in decades.
Obama says he has boxed the Iranians so tightly that they have no chance of expanding a greatly reduced nuclear program in the short run, and that he or a future President could “snap back” economic sanctions should the Iranians go rogue. Thus, he argues, America will be better positioned to curb Iran for the 15-year life of the pact. Continue reading
With the Senate lacking the two-thirds majority it would need to stop him, President Obama will succeed in implementing his nuclear deal with Iran. At this point, barring a miracle, Obama has outmaneuvered the Congress and won that fight.
He has also lost the argument.
For all the millions of dollars they promised to spend influencing public opinion, his allies failed to put a dent in the overwhelming opposition among the American public. The demeaning videos they trotted out featuring vapid celebrities failed to convince the undecided to embrace this deal. Nor could they assuage the glaring problems in its terms for those following closely enough to feel confident expressing an opinion. Continue reading
By John Podhoretz • New York Post
It’s rare for people to celebrate getting 41 percent of anything. If you score 41 percent on a test, you get an F. If you win 41 percent of the vote in a two-person race, you lose. If your tax rate is 41 percent, you’re likely to feel ripped off.
In the matter of his Iran deal, President Obama and his team have spent two months working relentlessly to secure 41 percent — and now they’re claiming an enormous victory even though by any other standards what they’ve achieved is nothing but a feat of unconstitutional trickery.
They worked throughout the summer to browbeat Senate Democrats so they could get 41 of them to say they would support the Iran nuclear deal. They’re up to 42 now — that’s a mere 42 percent of the Senate. Continue reading
The review process under the Corker law never began — by the law’s own terms.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
To undermine President Obama’s atrocious Iran deal despite the Republican-controlled Congress’s irresponsible Corker legislation, it will be necessary to follow, of all things, the Corker legislation.
On Wednesday, Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Senate Democrat to announce support for the deal, which lends aid and comfort to a regime that continues to call for “Death to America.” Under the Corker Roadmap to Catastrophe, Mikulski’s assent ostensibly puts President Obama over the top. After all, the legislation sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and other Beltway GOP leaders reverses the Constitution’s presumptions against international agreements that harm national security. In essence, Corker requires dissenters from the Iran pact to round up a two-thirds supermajority opposition in both congressional chambers (67 senators and 290 House members). If the Constitution were followed, the burden would be on the president to convince either 67 senators to support a treaty, or majorities of both chambers to make the pact legally binding through ordinary legislation. Continue reading
A 12-point drop in support since July.
by Michael Warren • Weekly Standard
A new Pew poll finds shrinking support among the American people for the nuclear deal with Iran. The poll found 49 percent are opposed to the deal, with 21 percent in support and 30 percent who say they don’t know.
That’s a 12-point drop in support for the deal from Pew’s poll two months ago, which found 33 percent supported the deal and 45 percent oppose it. Here’s more from Pew:
While the partisan divide over the nuclear agreement remains substantial, support for the deal has slipped across the board since July. Currently, 42% of Democrats approve of the agreement, while 29% disapprove and an identical percentage has no opinion. In July, 50% of Democrats approved, 27% disapproved and 22% had no opinion. Continue reading
Majority of Republicans, Democrats concerned about poor access to Tehran’s military sites
by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon
A majority of voters from both parties are concerned about aspects of the Iran nuclear deal governing inspections of Tehran’s nuclear facilities, according to a survey released Tuesday by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation.
Participants in the national “Citizen Cabinet” survey were presented with a description of the dispute regarding Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program and the principal components of the deal finalized in Vienna on July 14. They were then briefed on critiques of the agreement and subsequent rebuttals to those critiques.
Those surveyed were polled on the degree to which they found these criticisms or rebuttals convincing. Continue reading