02212017Tue

London, 26 Aug - As the US Congress reviews the Iran nuclear deal, it faces the hardest choice in foreign affairs: whether to threaten or appease an adversary. The proper choice, scholars agree, depends on the rival’s intent, Prof. Alan J. Kuperman wrote on Tuesday in The Hill.

"If the other country is 'status quo' – just wants to be left alone to prosper without dominating other countries or flouting international rules – we should concede its limited demands. Appeasement is not a dirty word in such a case, but the ideal foreign policy. However, if the other country is 'revisionist' – seeking to dominate others and overturn the global order – we must deter it through coercion including the threat of force", he wrote.

London, 20 Aug - The secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) indicated on Thursday that it has nearly finished examining Tehran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers but will announce no conclusion before the U.S. Congress does.

The SNSC and the Majlis (Parliament) are both perusing the text of the July 14 pact mandating Iran to curb its nuclear work in exchange for a removal of sanctions, mirroring Congress which has the right to approve or reject it in a vote to be taken by Sept. 17.

Washington, 29 Jul - United States Secretary of State John Kerry intensified efforts on Tuesday to beat back criticism of the Iran nuclear deal and convince US lawmakers that rejecting it would give Tehran a fast track to a weapon and access to billions of dollars from collapsed sanctions.

Days after tough questioning by lawmakers at an emotional Senate hearing, Kerry sharpened his response to criticism that the deal's provisions were temporary and would not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in the long run.

The Associated Press
By GEORGE JAHN

VIENNA (AP) — Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.

Iran Focus

Washington, 29 Jul - A former international nuclear inspector, an Iranian opposition figure, and the former Commander of the USS Cole will discuss the Iran Nuclear Deal and its impact on regional security, nuclear weapons verification challenges and its impact inside Iran at a National Press Club Newsmakers news conference on Monday, 3 August at 10:30 a.m.

Iran Focus

London, 14 Aug - Revelations of Iran's nuclear sites by the main opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), alerted the world to Tehran’s clandestine nuclear weapons programme and has prevented the regime thus far from obtaining a nuclear weapon, writes Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

Tehran, 21 Jul - The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) objected on Monday to the United Nations Security Council resolution that is part of the landmark nuclear agreement, asserting it crossed some “red lines” concerning Iranian defences.

The objection, by Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, appeared to open a new point of contention within Iran’s political hierarchy.

General Jafari’s remarks, reported in an interview with Iran's state-run Tasnim news agency, appeared to be primarily concerned with the restrictions in the Security Council resolution on the Iranian regime’s missile capabilities.

Sir David Amess is the Conservative MP for Southend West in the House of Commons and co-chair of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF). He writes for the Business Insider and is of the opinion that the nuclear deal is a weak deal. It is a step backward with respect to the type of concessions the west could have gotten from Tehran if they had stuck to our guns.

Iran Focus

London, 7 Aug - Retired US General Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says that despite the Obama administration's attempts to reach a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear programme, the Tehran regime simply cannot be expected to show moderation. He argues in the Miami Herald on Friday that the only long-term solution to Iran’s nuclear aspirations, meddling in regional affairs and human-rights abuses, is a totally new system of governance based on democracy and secularism:

Iran Focus

Washington, 15 Jul - The United States on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that would endorse the Iran nuclear deal, reached earlier in the week between Tehran and the major world powers, but retain an arms embargo and ban on ballistic missile technology, said diplomats ahead of a likely vote next week.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power briefed the 15-member council on the draft document behind closed doors.

The deal reached on Tuesday in Vienna with Iran was negotiated by Germany, the European Union and the five permanent, veto-wielding members of the Security Council - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

London, 3 Aug – The Obama administration’s hopes of using “snapback sanctions” if Iran is caught transgressing the terms of the current nuclear deal are flawed, writes John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations. The following is the text of his op-ed in Monday’s edition of The New York Times:

The Iran Deal’s Dangerous Precedent

The New York Times

The Opinion Pages | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

PARIS (AFP): An exiled Iranian opposition group known for making revelations about Tehran's nuclear drive in the past regretted Tuesday that Iran was allowed to continue enriching uranium under a historic deal.

Reached on day 18 of marathon talks between the 5+1 countries - the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany - and Iran, the deal aims at resolving a 13-year standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Washington, 3 Aug – The recent nuclear deal between the US and Iran doesn’t address a key source of tension: the billions of dollars US courts say Iran owes to terrorism victims, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Over the past two decades, terrorism victims have filed about 100 lawsuits against Iran in US courts, accusing the government of sponsoring attacks around the world, including the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, the journal reported on Monday. Federal judges have awarded victims a total of approximately $45 billion, including $21.6 billion in compensatory damages, according to calculations by Crowell & Moring LLP. Iran has refused to pay.

Iran Focus

London, 14 Jul - Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday, capping more than a decade of negotiations to curb Tehran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

US President Barack Obama hailed a step towards a "more hopeful world" and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said it proved that "constructive engagement works". But Israel pledged to do what it could to halt what it called an "historic surrender".

The agreement will now be debated in the U.S. Congress, but Obama said he would veto any measure to block it.

London, 3 Aug – The Obama administration must provide the US Congress details of the secret "Iran side deals before US lawmakers votes on whether to endorse the major power powers' recent nuclear agreement with Iran, two senior US lawmakers wrote on Monday in The Wall Street Journal:

Release the Secret Iran Deals

The Wall Street Journal

Iran Focus

London, 14 Jul - Top Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi on Tuesday warned that an agreement reached earlier in the day between the world powers and Iran to curb its nuclear projects would “not close the mullahs’ path to deception and access to a nuclear bomb”.

“Despite many shortages and illegitimate concessions to the mullahs, the nuclear deal struck by the P5+1 and the Iranian regime forces [Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei to retreat and violate the declared redlines he had repeatedly insisted on over the past 12 years, including in recent weeks”, Rajavi said in a statement.

Washington, 30 Jul - The Obama administration's nuclear deal earlier this month with Iran does not prevent Tehran from having a "nuclear weapons capability", an official of the main opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran has said.

"A closer look at the details of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, however, provides little cause for celebration", Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the NCRI's Washington office, wrote on Thursday in Roll Call.

Iran Focus

Washington, 12 Jul - United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday led a chorus of bipartisan concern from congressional leaders and 2016 presidential candidates about an Iran nuclear deal, amid reports that negotiators are expected to reach a provisional agreement.

"This is going to be a very hard sell for the administration", the Kentucky Republican said on "Fox News Sunday", when asked about the likelihood of Congress signing off on a deal.

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