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News, April 2015
Iran Gives Up Nuclear Deterrance, Israel Stays as the Only Nuclear Power in Middle East, Netanyahu Maintains his Tight Grip on US Government
April 15, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister, Netanyahu, has asserted himself as a winner against Iran, using his puppets in the US government.
Iran gave up its nuclear deterrance in return for lifting the sanctions, which were imposed just for that purpose.
Netanyahu used the US executive branch to negotiate with Iran to achieve that goal. At the same time, he used his puppets in Congress to pressure the executive branch negotiators for more capitulation on the Iranian side.
Netanyahu won as the higher decision maker in the current Zionist Empire, superciding the position of the US president, which turned to be subordinate to the position of the Israeli prime minister.
Israel has maintained its status as the only nuclear regional super power dominating the Middle East, in preparation for the establishment of the Israeli Empire from the Nile to the Euphrates, as Israelis and Zionists dream about.
Israel happy at compromise deal on Iran between Congress-Obama
Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:02am EDT
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -
Israel is pleased at a compromise deal on Iran achieved between the United States Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.
In what was seen as a setback for Obama, the U.S. president agreed on Tuesday that Congress should have the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran, reluctantly giving in to pressure from Republicans and some in his own party over the barbed issue.
"We are certainly happy this morning. This is an achievement for Israeli policy," Steinitz told Israel Radio, citing a March 3 speech by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Congress in which he argued against a then-emerging framework agreement with Tehran on curbing its nuclear program.
Steinitz said the compromise bill would be "a very important element in preventing a bad deal", or at least in improving the April 2 blueprint that world powers charted with Iran.
The bill requires the Obama administration to send the text of any final agreement with Iran to Congress as soon as it is completed, and blocks Obama's ability to waive many U.S. sanctions on Tehran while Congress reviews the deal. It allows a final vote on whether to lift sanctions imposed by Congress in exchange for Iran dismantling its nuclear capabilities.
It also requires that the White House send Congress regular, detailed reports on a range of issues including Iran's support for terrorism, ballistic missiles and nuclear program.
"This is more pressure and another barrier in the face of a bad agreement, and therefore the administration and the negotiating team will make more of an effort to seal gaps and to achieve an agreement that looks better, or at least more reasonable, so that it will pass in Congress," Steinitz said.
Obama has invested enormous political capital throughout his presidency in securing an international agreement to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, relying on tight sanctions that crippled Iran's economy and forced it to negotiate.
Israel, believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, has differed sharply with Obama over the emerging accord, fearing it will not be stringent enough and will allow the Islamic Republic to develop its own atomic weapons.
Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but it has never welcomed intrusive inspections and has in the past kept some nuclear sites secret.
Iran says nuclear deal depends on lifting of sanctions
By Parisa Hafezi and Sam Wilkin
Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:16am EDT
ANKARA/DUBAI (Reuters) -
Iran said on Wednesday it would only accept a deal over its contested nuclear program if world powers simultaneously lifted all sanctions imposed on it.
The comments by President Hassan Rouhani came the day after U.S. President Barack Obama was forced to give Congress a say in any future accord -- including the right to veto the lifting of sanctions imposed by U.S. lawmakers.
Bolstering the role of a highly assertive Congress injects an element of uncertainty into the crucial final stages of negotiations between major powers and Iran aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief.
"If there is no end to sanctions, there will not be an agreement," Rouhani said in a televised speech in the northern Iranian city of Rasht, echoing remarks made last week by Iran's most powerful authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"The end of these negotiations and a signed deal must include a declaration of cancelling the oppressive sanctions on the great nation of Iran," said Rouhani, who is widely viewed as a pragmatist.
A tentative deal between Iran and the six world powers was reached in Switzerland on April 2, and aimed at clearing the way for a final settlement on June 30.
Discussions will resume on April 21. However, different interpretations have emerged over what was agreed in the framework, suggesting that nailing down a final agreement will be tough, even without the added complication of Congress.
Many Congressmen have been highly critical of the U.S.-led negotiations, supporting Israel, which has said the framework proposal will not prevent Iran from developing atomic arms. Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
While Israel said it was pleased with the Congress move, Rouhani said it was a domestic U.S. issue that should have no bearing on the negotiations between Iran, the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China.
"What the U.S. Senate, Congress and others say is not our problem. We want mutual respect ... We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress," Rouhani said.
Looking to reassure his various negotiating partners, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday he was confident Obama would be able to get Congress to approve the final deal.
"Looming large is the challenge of finishing the negotiation with Iran over the course of the next two and a half months," Kerry said after arriving in Germany for a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers.
"We are confident about our ability for the president to negotiate an agreement and to do so with the ability to make the world safer," he added.
Obama has invested enormous political capital throughout his presidency in securing an accord to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, relying on tight sanctions that crippled Iran's economy and forced it to negotiate.
A combination of U.S. and EU sanctions have choked off nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian exports since early 2012, reducing its oil exports by 60 percent to around 1 million barrels a day.
While Iran denies its nuclear program has any military element, it has never welcomed intrusive inspections and has in the past kept some nuclear sites secret.
A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for scheduled technical talks, Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency reported. Talks with the IAEA run parallel to the negotiations with world powers.
(This story has been refiled to fix headline)
(Additional reporting by Sam Wilkin in Dubai, Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Crispian Balmer)
Iran, Israel cooperate in nuclear test detection drills
JERUSALEM | By Dan Williams
Iran and Israel have been cooperating under the auspices of an international body set up to monitor a ban on nuclear bomb tests, its director said on Monday.
Negotiated in the 1990s, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty enjoys wide global support but must be ratified by eight more nuclear technology states -- among them Israel and Iran, as well as Egypt and the United States -- to come into force.
In the interim, Middle East signatories have regularly held technical meetings, including in Jordan in November and December to practice detecting illicit testing.
"Iran took part in the drill. Egypt was part of this drill. I think all the Arab countries were represented in Jordan for this exercise," Lassina Zerbo, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), said during a visit to Israel.
"During the exercise, when we had our round-table discussions or dinner or lunches, you had Iranian experts and Israeli experts sitting at the same table," he told Reuters. "It's not unusual that we see that in the technological field we have people who don't necessarily get together politically but who find things to agree on in the scientific framework."
The CTBTO has established a system to detect any nuclear blasts, with more than 337 monitoring facilities in the world.
Among these are two seismic stations in Israel and another in Iran which, Zerbo said, has been inactive since 2006 when the international network was upgraded and sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear program made taking equipment there difficult.
An April 2 framework deal between Iran and world powers clears the way for a settlement to allay Western fears that Iran could build a nuclear weapon, with economic sanctions on Tehran being lifted in return.
Zerbo voiced hope of getting the Iranian site back on line, effectively putting Iran on the same detection grid as Israel, which accuses Tehran of harboring designs on nuclear weaponry.
Israel -- which is believed to be the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East, but neither confirms nor denies this -- says it believes Iran is committed to its destruction.
Iran insists its nuclear projects are purely peaceful, a position Zerbo argued would be shored up by ratifying the Test Ban treaty. But, he said, "their approach is that diplomacy is always one step at a time."
By not signing the voluntary nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to which Iran belongs, Israel has kept its main nuclear facilities away from foreign inspection.
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