It’s been a while since I last wrote about Iran and its deceitful ways in violating the conditions of the notorious JCPOA, aka the Iran deal, while the West, particularly the Americans, has been looking the other way. In fact the West has deliberately been turning a blind eye to some of Iran’s violations, whether out of fear (of Iranian sponsored terrorism) or greed (Iran provides a huge market for exports and business) and this in the end led Iran to go one step too far, even for the craven western allies.
Last week Iran held its ninth ballistic missile test, causing NATO to “express concern” at their violation of a UN Security Council Resolution (I’m sure that will have them quaking in their boots):
Iran test-fired a new kind of ballistic missile using North Korean technology on the night of July 11-12, Fox News reported on Friday, citing multiple intelligence officials. The latest test, the ninth Iran carried out since it reached a nuclear deal with global powers last year, was held two days before the one-year anniversary of the deal’s announcement.
Radius covered by Iran’s latest missiles
The missile was fired from the city of Saman in western Iran and was a modified version of North Korea’s Musudan ballistic missile, which has a range of 2,500 miles — putting nearly all of the Middle East (including Israel) and much of mainland Europe within reach.
Iran’s continued ballistic missile tests are being carried out in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231, which codified last year’s nuclear deal and calls on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” The resolution also says that Iran must abide by previous Security Council resolutions, which placed restrictions on ballistic missile work until 2023.
NATO leaders said in a joint communique last week that they were “seriously concerned by the development of Iran’s ballistic missile programme and continuing missile tests that are inconsistent with [Resolution] 2231.” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi replied on Monday that NATO’s statement was “a repetition of past baseless allegations.”
So how well have those sanctions actually been working? Not so brilliantly:
“Iran’s behavior hasn’t significantly changed as a result of the nuclear agreement,” Gen. Joseph Votel, the Baghdad-based chief of United States Central Command, told Fox News on Thursday. “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.”
In fact 15 Senators from the Democrat Party who supported the Iran deal are now criticising the Iranian inspection procedures:
Fifteen Democratic senators who originally supported the nuclear deal with Iran have written a letter to President Barack Obama criticizing the deal’s inspection procedures, Politico reported Friday.
The group, led by Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), called on Obama to pressure the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which performs inspections on suspected Iranian nuclear sites, to release more information from its inspections. Currently, the IAEA does not publicly disclose critical details like the size of Iran’s uranium stocks or how many centrifuges it is operating, instead simply announcing whether Iran is, overall, in compliance with its obligations.
“Providing additional situational awareness of Iran’s nuclear program is vital for the long-term health of this agreement,” the letter read. “We urge [the Obama] administration to ensure that the IAEA releases all relevant technical information so that we may continue to make our own judgments about the status of Iran’s nuclear program.”
The letter also criticized the inspections regime for not providing detailed updates on Iran’s Fordow facility, a key site for Iranian nuclear weapons research.
So where is that apology to Binyamin Netanyahu after he was excoriated for opposing the deal? I am sure that will be conveniently forgotten by American politicians, particularly the Democrats, but we Israelis have a long memory.
A new scandal emerged this week as a secret document was exposed, revealing that key constraints on Iran will last no longer than 10 years, bringing them much nearer to building a nuclear bomb. Honest Reporting explains:
According to a document seen by the Associated Press, “key restrictions” imposed on Iran’s nuclear program by last year’s accord “will start to ease years before the 15-year accord expires, advancing Tehran’s ability to build a bomb even before the end of the pact.”
Israeli officials told the Times of Israel that this add-on document would allow Tehran to “produce fuel for many bombs in a very short time.”
It says that as of January 2027 — 11 years after the deal was implemented — Iran will start replacing its mainstay centrifuges with thousands of advanced machines.
Centrifuges churn out uranium to levels that can range from use as reactor fuel and for medical and research purposes to much higher levels for the core of a nuclear warhead. From year 11 to 13, says the document, Iran will install centrifuges up to five times as efficient as the 5,060 machines it is now restricted to using.
Those new models will number less than those being used now, ranging between 2,500 and 3,500, depending on their efficiency, according to the document. But because they are more effective, they will allow Iran to enrich at more than twice the rate it is doing now.
The US State Dept. denied the existence of any secret add-on documents while Tehran defended the provision as “a matter of pride.” Who to believe?
I know who I believe, and it’s not the Americans. Their record has been abysmal on anything connected with Iran and they have given us no reason to rethink our scepticism now.
Iran’s heavy water plant in Araq
For example US officials confirmed that $8.6 million of taxpayer money was used to buy Iranian heavy water, ostensibly to get it out of Iranian hands. But as we all know, money is fungible. Moreover, if Iran was not supposed to have nuclear materials, that heavy water ought to have been confiscated, not bought with US taxpayer dollars!
Heavy water can be used in certain reactors to breed plutonium from natural uranium. The nuclear deal limits Iran to 130 metric tons of heavy water, and allows Iran to sell it to other countries under certain conditions. But after Iran created more heavy water than it anticipated, it transferred 50 metric tons of the material to Oman in anticipation of selling some of it to the United States — a maneuver allowing Iran to maintain its compliance with the deal by limiting the heavy water in the country. But the transfer of heavy water to a third country without a sale is not specifically approved by the nuclear deal.
The newly revealed timeline for the deal is reportedly raising concerns in Capitol Hill. Lawmakers have already voiced opposition to doing nuclear-related business with Iran, and have criticized the Obama administration for failing to provide them with specific details on the sale.
“The confirmation of this late April date is likely to anger lawmakers who were denied details of the deal because the Energy Department told them several months ago that key details surrounding the deal had not yet been firmed up,” one legislative adviser told the Free Beacon.
“The Obama administration’s deal with the Mullahs in Tehran to purchase heavy water demonstrates a disturbing, potentially illegal, willingness of the administration to subsidize Iran’s nuclear program,” said Rep. Mike Pompeo (R – Kan.). “This purchase allows the Iranians to offload previously unsellable product and it destigmatizes the act of doing business in Iran.”
If the Obama Administration is lying to its own people, how much more so is it lying to the rest of the world!
We are now at the stage where a newly empowered Iran is celebrating and threatening in equal measure. In the wake of the secret letter mentioned above, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif triumphantly declared that Iran will be able to restore full enrichment after 10 years:
Iran’s foreign minister called his country’s ability to restore its uranium enrichment program after the tenth year of the nuclear deal it reached with world powers last year a “matter of pride,” the Associated Press reported
Tuesday. Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments came in response to a report
published Monday by the AP about a secret add-on to the Iran deal, which reduces Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear device.
Zarif, who also served as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, said the previously confidential document that his country filed with the International Atomic Energy Agency was crafted by “negotiators and industry experts.” The secret side-deal — revealed to the AP by a diplomat who worked on issues related to Iran’s nuclear program for over a decade, and confirmed by another diplomat possessing the same document — has raised further questions about the nuclear accord’s ability to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb over the next 15 years.
Meanwhile, as if it has not received enough concessions, Iran continues to threaten the West if it does not uphold the nuclear deal – the very deal that they themselves are violating!
Iranian officials issued new threats against the West on Wednesday, warning that failure to uphold the nuclear deal will result in harsh consequences, Iranian state media reported.
According to Larijani, “disruptive moves” by the UN and the US, coupled with what he claimed to be America’s disloyalty to the year-old Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), are sufficient cause for Tehran to take defiant measures.
Also on Wednesday, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, announced that Iran will hold various war games across the country, which will last through the end of the year, Fars reported. The war games are intended to flex Iran’s military muscles and test its advanced missile systems, the IRGC commander said.
“This year, we have so many exercises that I can’t remember their exact number,” Jafari said. “God willing, these drills will be staged to enhance readiness for burying the enemy in the Persian Gulf waters and annihilating them on the Iranian soil.”
“We will not cancel any drills and will improve them and make them more frequent,” he said.
In March, the IRGC carried out a ballistic-missile exercise, launching missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload. The move was widely condemned and seen as a violation of Security Council Resolution 2231, which implements the JCPOA.
And here you see the craven West at work again:
Western officials claimed that the launch did not violate the core terms of the nuclear deal.
Iranian threats are not extended merely over nations, but towards individuals too. The family of a British-Iranian woman arrested on trumped-up charges is being blackmailed by Iran in order to secure her release:
The family of a British-Iranian woman who was arrested in Tehran earlier this year was told to pressure the British government “to reach an agreement” in order to close her case before trial, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was visiting family in Iran with her toddler, was detained at Tehran’s airport in April, separated from her child, and charged with the “design and implementation of cyber and media projects to cause the soft toppling of the Islamic Republic,” the state-run IRNA news agency reported. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, called the charges “preposterous.” Ratcliffe told Reuters that his wife was told by an interrogator in late June that her case would be closed if some sort of deal was made with the British government. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s mother was reportedly told when visiting her daughter at the notorious Evin prison that the deal involved some sort of “exchange.”
[Photo: Free Nazanin Campaign]
Iran does not recognized dual citizenship, so dual nationals like Zaghar-Ratcliffe are denied access to the embassies of their second nationality. The British Foreign Office has raised Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, but officials have not been allowed to visit her.
Iran has a long record with such hostage-taking, as the article reports:
In Why Does Iran Keep Taking American Hostages?, published in the September 2015 issue of The Tower Magazine, Iran expert Ali Alfoneh described the regime’s hostage-taking as “a perfectly normal procedure and political practice in the Islamic Republic. That has been the case since the first day of the revolution and continues until today.”
Pictures of the 85 victims of the AMIA bombing in Argentina 22 years ago
Iranian finger-prints have still not led to any serious convictions or even indictments in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires almost exactly 22 years ago, which caused the death of 85 people, and also the murder of Argentinian-Jewish investigator Alberto Nisman who was examining the case. Israel Hayom reports that Argentinian Jews are calling for justice 22 years later:
“We ask the head of the AMIA Bombing Investigation Unit Mario Cimadevilla and Justice Minister German Garavano that the case be a state priority. We know they have been in their posts for a short time, but we also know that we who are here have been calling for justice for 22 years, holding onto the sad reality that there is not even one detainee. But we will continue to ask for justice — do not forget that — we will continue to ask for justice,” Saieg said.
Prosecutors have accused Iranian officials of being behind the bombing, but no one has been convicted in the attack, which many Argentines believe has come to symbolize an inept and corrupt justice system.
A “truth commission” deal with Iran was denounced by Israel and world Jewish groups, who called it a diplomatic win for Tehran that offered no benefit to Argentina. The deal, which was struck down by a federal court, would have let Iran review Argentina’s investigation into the bombing.
During the ceremony, some also called for answers in the mysterious death of the leading prosecutor investigating the case. Alberto Nisman was found dead in his apartment on Jan. 18, 2015 with a .22-caliber pistol by his side, one day before he was due to present his case to Argentina’s Congress.
Nisman was scheduled to present allegations that then-President Cristina Fernandez orchestrated a secret deal to cover up Iranian officials’ alleged role in the attack. Fernandez denied the allegations, and judges later threw out the case.
In 2006, an official Argentine government report prepared by Nisman identified Iranian and Hezbollah figures as responsible for the attack. Interpol issued red notices for the capture of six suspects, including Ahmad Vahidi, a former Iranian Defense Minister.
Iran is literally getting away with murder, as well as hostage-taking, blackmail and terrorism. And the craven West together with corrupt politicians and officials, are enabling and empowering it all. For shame!