Friday, May 11, 2018

Today's Special Supplement--IRAN

Trump’s Ten Lies: A Response to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Speech 

Lie #1

"The Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor of terror"

The United States has long known that its ally, Saudi Arabia, and not its enemy, Iran, is the leading state sponsor of terror. All recent attempts to link Iran to terrorism have failed. Even America’s own reports on terrorism don’t list Iran as the leading state sponsor of terrorism. The State Department’s Patterns of Global Terrorisms “rarely identifies a terrorist incident as an act by or on behalf of Iran.” 

As The U.S. well knows, Saudi Arabia is the leading state sponsor of terror. As early as 2009, the State Department had already declared that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban . . . and other terrorist groups.” A widely circulated 2012 classified Defense Intelligence Agency Information Intelligence Report identified the "supporting powers" of ISIS to be "Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey."

Lie #2
"The Iranian regime . . . supports . . . the Taliban and Al Qaeda"

Lie #3
"Over the years, Iran and its proxies have bombed American Embassies and military installations, murdered hundreds of American service members, and kidnapped, imprisoned, and tortured American citizens."

Lie #4 (The BIGGEST Lie of all)
"No action taken by the regime has been more dangerous than its pursuit of nuclear weapons – and the means of delivering them.

Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said repeatedly that "We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb, and we are not going to do so". Both Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and his predecessor, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, have insisted that Iran would never pursue nuclear weapons because nuclear weapons are against the precepts of Islam. Khamenei has insisted that "from an ideological and fiqhi [Islamic jurisprudence] perspective, we consider developing nuclear weapons as unlawful. We consider using such weapons as a big sin."

And no one really believes otherwise: not US intelligence and not Israeli intelligence.
Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta asked, “Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon?” and succinctly and pointedly answered: “No”. The 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), representing the collective conclusions of all of America’s many intelligence agencies, said with “high confidence” that Iran was not building a nuclear weapon. The 2011 NIE said that “the bottom-line assessments of the [2007] N.I.E. still hold true. We have not seen indications that the government has made the decision to move ahead with the program”.

Yuval Diskin, the man who headed Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic intelligence agency, for six years, accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of “misleading the public on the Iran issue.” And Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz, then Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, insisted that Iran has not “made the decision” to pursue a nuclear weapons program. Then Defense Minister Ehud Barak, clearly stated that “it is not the case” that “Iran is determined to . . . attempt to obtain nuclear weapons . . . as quickly as possible.” He added rhetorically, “To do that, Iran would have to announce it is leaving the inspection regime . . .. Why haven’t they done that?”

Former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei told investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that “[d]uring my time at the agency, we haven’t seen a shred of evidence that Iran has been weaponizing”.

The bottom line is that no one – not the United States, not Israel, not the International Atomic Energy Agency – ever really believed Iran was developing nuclear weapons.

Lie #5
"The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for very weak limits on the regime’s nuclear activity"

Lie #6
"The deal lifted crippling economic sanctions on Iran . . .. at the point when the United States had maximum leverage"

Lie #7
Today, we have definitive proof that this Iranian promise was a lie. Last week, Israel published intelligence documents – long concealed by Iran – conclusively showing the Iranian regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu’s “significant new revelations” were not new at all. The binders and discs contained nothing that the IAEA hadn’t seen and dismissed the first time around. Those old attempts to discredit Iran have been carefully discredited by many experts, including Gareth Porter in Manufactured Crisis. The IAEA was finished with them by December of 2015.


Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said that, based on first reports of Netanyahu’s presentation, it “has not put into question Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.” Mogherini said that the final word had to go to the IAEA. The day after Netanyahu’s presentation, the IAEA said that there was “no credible indications” of Iran working on a nuclear weapons program for several years before the JCPOA.

Lie #8
The agreement was so poorly negotiated that even if Iran fully complies, the regime can still be on the verge of a nuclear breakout in just a short period of time. The deal’s sunset provisions are totally unacceptable.

The most commonly called upon criticism by those hostile to the JCPOA, the "sunset" objection is a chimera. And not just because most non-proliferation agreements have the same fifteen year term this one has. The objection is disingenuous because it is based on a misreading of the agreement, or, perhaps, on not having read it at all. Many of the key restrictions referred to last much more than fifteen years. The text of the agreement specifies that Iran agreed to allow the IAEA to monitor its entire uranium supply chain for twenty-five years and all centrifuge production facilities for twenty. More importantly, though, Trita Parsi points out that “the most important restrictions and inspections instruments are permanent, according to the Additional Protocol to the Nonproliferation Treaty.” Iran commits in the JCPOA to a schedule for ratifying the Additional Protocol.

Lie #9
"Making matters worse, the deal’s inspection provisions lack adequate mechanisms to prevent, detect, and punish cheating and don’t even have the unqualified right to inspect many important locations, including military facilities."
 
The JCPOA clearly states that inspectors can get access to military sites if the IAEA has credible evidence that suspicious activity is occurring on the site. The IAEA says that there has been no credible evidence of suspicious activity and that “Washington has not provided such indications to back up its pressure on the IAEA to make such a request.”
IAEA chief Amano Yukiya defended the inspections as the world’s “most robust nuclear verification regime.
Lie #10
Not only does the deal fail to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but it also fails to address the regime’s development of ballistic missiles that could deliver nuclear warheads.

The deal was never meant to address Iran’s ballistic missiles, and their ballistic missiles are incapable of delivering nuclear warheads.
Resolution 2231, approved in support of the JCPOA, “calls upon” Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for a defined period of time. Iran insists they are in compliance with this requirement because the missiles are defensive and are designed to carry a conventional payload: the missiles are not capable of being nuclear armed. Iran expert Gareth Porter says that Iran’s “ballistic missiles were not designed for nuclear weapons.” Porter cites experts who say that “Iran’s medium-range missiles have been designed for conventional deterrence,” and that “Iran would have to redesign at least the internal components of the missile to adapt it to carrying nuclear weapons.”











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