The latest salvo in a bizarre exchange of international sanctions has been fired. Russia has already taken its boycott of Western foodstuffs to theatrical extremes, bulldozing piles of cheese and destroying apples whose sole fault was their Polish origin. Now the government of Vladimir Putin seems to be turning on household cleansers as it tries to scour away the taint of Western business.Read more
President Obama claims, as Bill Kristol noted in his editorial in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, that no country in the world has expressed opposition to his deal with Iran, with the exception of Israel. But that's not accurate. Canada, the United States' biggest trading partner—and, traditionally, its closest ally—has made it clear it wants no part of an agreement normalizing relations between Iran and the West.Read more
Susan Rice, President Obama's national security advisor, said on CNN that at least some money that Iran will receive from the nuclear deal will be used by the regime to support terrorism.
"We should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now," Rice admitted on CNN.Read more
Even the Obama administration acknowledges that Iran is up to a lot of mischief in the Middle East. Tehran is engaged in a sectarian conflict from Lebanon to Syria and Iraq that has recently come to include Yemen as another active front. However, the White House continues to insist, against all evidence, that the clerical regime’s aggression won’t increase when it gets a huge cash infusion from sanctions relief and an immediate $30 to $50 billion bonus, when (or if) it signs the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the nuclear deal.Read more
For the last several days, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf has been at pains to explain why Iran is not violating the interim nuclear agreement, or Joint Plan of Action.Read more
Bill Kristol, chairman of the Emergency Committee for Israel, has released a statement calling on senators to strengthen the Corker-Cardin Iran bill:Read more
In a preview of Barack Obama's interview with Vice, the president of the United States says he's "embarassed" Republicans sent a letter to Iran:
"I’m embarrassed for them," says Obama in the preview. "For them to address a letter to the Ayatollah — who they claim is our mortal enemy — and their basic argument to them is, 'don’t deal with our president because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement.' It's close to unprecedented."Read more
Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a portion of his AIPAC speech today to list the times when Israel has defied U.S. warnings to act in its self defense.
"America and Israel have had some serious disagreements over the course of our nearly 70-year-old friendship," said Netanyahu from the annual AIPAC policy conference. "That started with the beginning.Read more
Last week, the Obama administration succeeded in pressuring Democrats to insist there not be a vote on the Senate floor in support of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 until after the March 24 deadline for negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear weapons program. Lacking the votes in the Senate to impose cloture, Republicans had little choice but to go along. But the delay is unfortunate.Read more
A rare statement released from the Mossad, which is meant to deny reports that say the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, favors not imposing additional sanctions on Iran:
Reaction of the Mossad Chairman to the new crisis with Washington:
On 19 January 2015, Mossad Chairman Tamir Pardo met with a delegation of American Senators. The meeting took place at the Senators' request, and with the Prime Minister's approval.Read more
At a hearing this morning on Capitol Hill, Democratic senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey blasted the Obama administration talking points on Iran:Read more
In John Kerry's statement on President Obama's Cuba policy changes, the secretary of state doesn't simply suggest the policies in place for five and a half decades are outdated. He seems to be suggesting they were a failure from the start. And in doing so, he apparently misstates his own age at the time President Kennedy made one of the most well known presidential addresses in our nation's history, and certainly the most notable regarding Cuba.Read more
Imagine for a moment that you are a Saudi, Emirati, Jordanian, or Israeli. Your main national security worry these days is Iran—Iran’s rise, its nuclear program, its troops fighting in Iraq and Syria, its growing influence from Yemen through Iraq and Syria to Lebanon.Read more
It's heartening these days to see an outbreak of bipartisan seriousness, given how rare those instances have become. Herewith some excerpts from a statement delivered by Bob Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at the committee’s December 3 hearing on “Dismantling Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program,” which The Scrapbook enthusiastically cosigns:Read more
Foreign Policy reports that the U.S. believes Iran is cheating on U.N. nuclear sanctions. "The United States has privately accused Iran of going on an international shopping spree to acquire components for a heavy-water reactor that American officials have long feared could be used in the production of nuclear weapons-grade plutonium," reports Colum Lynch.Read more
The Emergency Committee for Israel calls for Congress to "reimpost" Iran sanctions and to "limit the president's authority to waive sanctions."
"After relaxing sanctions and making ill-advised concessions on Iran's nuclear program, the Obama administration has nonetheless been unable to close a deal," the ECI statement reads.Read more
The deadline for the Joint Plan of Action ended it seems without a final agreement between the P5+1 and Iran over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. It’s not yet clear what happens next.Read more
How to explain America’s failure, after 20 years of efforts, to impose genuinely crippling sanctions on Iran? Start with the penchant of the executive branch—from Presidents Clinton to Obama—for excluding Congress from the process.Read more
At the White Housefor bilateral talks with President Obama, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather publicly reminded the president of how seriously Israel takes the threat of a nuclear Iran.Read more
When nations start imposing sanctions and embargoes on each other, black markets and hoarding follow as light comes with dawn. Witness Cuban cigars, which never went away and became even more desirable, especially as a status item favored by international types who smoked them to demonstrate that they knew where, and how, to get them.Read more
Hillary Clinton will shortly release a memoir, Hard Choices, chronicling her tenure as secretary of state. If what she has to say in its pages resembles what she had to say from the stage at the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) annual Global Forum on May 14—where she claimed undue credit for implementing sanctions against Iran—it’s worth setting the record straight now.Read more
Given the lack of foreign policy success with "red line" threats of military force, the Obama administration has apparently broadened the definition of "use of force" to include financial threats of red ink against Russia for recent actions in Ukraine. U.S. ambassador to the U.K. Matthew Barzun wrote an editorial on May 10 for the U.K.Read more
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