President Barack Obama acknowledged Wednesday that Iran might use cash coming its way under sanctions relief to fund "terrorist organizations" but argued this is preferable to allowing it to develop nuclear arms.
President Obama said that Iranian hardliners are "making common cause with the Republican caucus" in a speech today in Washington, D.C.:
"In fact, it's those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It's those hardliners chanting 'Death to America' who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus," said the president of the United States.
According to Iranian-based media, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif appeared on a panel today at Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations where he spoke about the nuclear agreement he negotiated with the P5+1 last month in Vienna. Zarif explained that the so-called snap-back sanctions mechanism was less effective than the Obama administration claims. “Our snap-back is easier than theirs,” is how one Iranian journalist tweeted Zarif’s talk, “because we can resume our work with nuts and bolts, but they should convince countries to resume sanctions.” Also, said Zarif, “doing business with foreigners is a guarantee to make them unable to use snap-back mechanism.”
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, signed this month by the six world powers with Iran lifts a UN arms embargo by 2020, sanctions against Iran’s ballistic missile program by 2023, most nuclear restrictions by 2025, and a cap on low-enriched uranium stockpile by 2030. Most sanctions will be lifted immediately, with some residual measures left until 2023.
In a new national poll, Quinnipiac asked the question in as straightforward a way as possible: "Do you support or oppose the nuclear deal with Iran?" And, "Do you think the nuclear deal with Iran would make the world safer or less safe?"
The results are stunning: Americans oppose the deal, 57 percent to 28 percent; and by 58 percent to 30 percent they think it will make the world less safe.
One man was responsible for the deaths or injuries of thousands of American soldiers in Iraq. That same man is responsible for sowing sectarian conflict today in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. And yet, in the nuclear deal with Iran, this man, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, Major General Qassem Suleimani, will have sanctions lifted against him. Indeed, he will receive a large infusion of cash to wreak more havoc and terror. Having served in Iraq, having experienced first-hand his proxy operations against American forces, and having lost men to Gen. Suleimani’s terror operations, I find this offensive.
Just after midnight on August 2, 1990, an invasion force of approximately 100,000 Iraqi troops crossed into Kuwait. As mechanized and armored Republican Guard divisions breached the border and sped southward across the desert, Iraqi Special Forces commandos launched airborne and amphibious assaults into Kuwait City. The Kuwaiti military, outnumbered and taken by surprise by the well-coordinated offensive, was swiftly routed.
To paraphrase Lincoln, if we could first know where Iran is and whither Iran is tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it. To evaluate the Iran deal, we need, to the degree possible, to understand the Iranian regime, its nature and its history, its past and present behavior.
The bad news is that the Obama administration doesn’t want us to have all the information available to judge that regime and its behavior. The good news is that Congress can insist the information be provided.
A top Democratic believes President Obama may break the law to implement the Iran deal. The Democrat is Brad Sherman, a congressman from California, who made the comments after meeting with Obama personally about the Iran deal.
At the end of an exchange between Sen. Tom Cotton and Gen. Martin Dempsey regarding the number of American servicemen killed by the Iranians, Cotton asks if Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani was responsible for the explosively formed penetrators that took the lives of several hundred Americans.
Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill today the U.S. government will not be revealing the contents of secret side deals with Iran to the American people. Senator Tom Cotton wanted to know why it can't be made public.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified on Capitol Hill today that it was his recommendation that the U.S. not lift its sanctions on conventional weapons and ballistic missiles that were part of the Iran deal.