Saturday, October 26, 2013

Americans Stand with Israel has moved!!

Americans Stand with Israel
by Bee Sting
Saturday, October 26, 2013

Please celebrate with me today!

Good morning Friends!
Last month I began working on a new Blog - with an entirely new program. It lacked one thing: a way to "blog" easily.  And so, while working on the new site, I continued posting here, on Google's "Blogger".
However, the Developers of the new site just opened up an application for bloggers - ta da! There are over 39 MILLION users, with 45,000 new people joining daily.
I never would have attempted this earlier, as it is a site best for "designers" and people far more able to understand the technology behind its capabilities.
However, I loved those capabilities and an opportunity to expand, and with a little help from my friend Nick, of "Apostates and Infidels", the site is ready and the Blog is available to everyone here to browse and hopefully, enjoy!
One thing I would like to share is that this new browser and its designers has a home office in Tel Aviv and that is exciting for me; to open a blog supporting Israel. (I hope it brings a smile to their faces!) They also offer "support" 24-7 and are quick to get back to you with your questions.

I only ask one favor of you today: Please visit and "Like" ... because I do not take criticism easily. HA HA HA!

Our NEW Home is

Friday, October 25, 2013


 24 Oct 2013

Remember when President Obama proclaimed that Al Qaeda was “on the run”, “decimated”, and “on the path to defeat”, much to the chagrin of the national security and intelligence communities as a whole? We may now know from whom the President received these talking points, verbiage he has used dozens of times since the tragic attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Jeh C. Johnson (pronounced “Jay”) is set to become Janet Napolitano’s successor as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Johnson’s government service career started as General Counsel to the Air Force under former President Bill Clinton. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the Defense Department. When the legality of drone strikes on foreign soil became a heated issue, with plenty of dissidents in both right and left wing circles, the Obama administration relied heavily on Johnson to build a case suggesting there was legal precedent to continue the overseas operations. 
Johnson would ultimately resign from DOD in December of 2012, stepping out of the public light to take a job with a top law firm in New York City. Only 10 months later, the President has recalled Johnson, nominating him to serve at the Department of Homeland Securities’ top post.
While lauded as a “hero” on the left for helping to repeal former President Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Johnson’s tenure as General Counsel for the Defense Department was flurried with controversy. While speaking at the Oxford Union in November of 2012, Johnson told the audience “the core of Al Qaeda is today degraded, disorganized and on the run. Osama Bin Laden is dead.” Johnson suggested that Al Qaeda was on the brink of collapse, declaring that there would soon come a time when “Al Qaeda as we know it, the organization that our Congress authorized the military to pursue in 2001, has been effectively destroyed.” 
Since Johnson’s speech, over 125 Americans have lost their lives fighting Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Afghanistan alone.
Johnson made the case on behalf of the Obama Administration for the lawful use of targeting a U.S. citizen overseas without having to give the citizen his or her due process under the law. At the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School, Johnson specifically mentioned 4 methods of criteria that were “set forth in the Attorney General’s (Eric Holder) speech a year ago” that would enable the US government to terminate one of their own:
  1. The target is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces who is actively engaged in planning to kill Americans.
  2. The individual poses an imminent threat to the United States
  3. Capture is not feasible
  4. The operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles
Seemingly all in favor of "pulling the trigger" via drone strike, Johnson conversely fervently opposes any “enhanced interrogation” methods. While asserting the righteousness for the Obama administrations reversal of former President Bush’s interrogation policy, he exclaimed, “We banned 'enhanced interrogation techniques,' consistent with the calls of many in our country, including our own military, that great nations simply do not treat other human beings that way." Critics of the "kill, don’t capture" protocol have argued that terminating potential threats as opposed to bringing them in for questioning, along with the inability of exposing them to "enhanced interrogation techniques," may leave the United States intelligence community at a major disadvantage.
Largely aware of his six-figure donations to Democratic campaigns, Republican lawmakers have excoriated the President for appointing Johnson to such a prominent position. Senator John Cornyn pointedly mentioned, “We need someone who knows how to secure the border, not dial for dollars.” Senator Jeff Sessions posited his own speculation, “It would appear that the president plans to nominate a loyalist and fundraiser to this post.” 

Israel weighs Palestinian prisoner release

Published today (updated) 25/10/2013 15:33
A girl from the occupied West Bank waves the national flag as she
and others wait close to the military prison of Ofer for the release of
prisoners on Aug. 13, 2013 (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli ministers are to meet Sunday to approve the release of a second batch of Palestinian prisoners under the terms of renewed peace talks, media said.

Maariv daily said Thursday that 26 prisoners would be freed, the same number as in the first tranche in August.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said two days before the July 30 resumption of talks that he had "agreed to free 104 Palestinians in stages, after the start of negotiations and according to progress."

Since the August release, Netanyahu's office has made no statement on a second round.

Maariv said the next handover would take place on Tuesday.

The European Union's mission to Israel told AFP that envoys of the Middle East Quartet group would meet the same day in Jerusalem.

Israeli public radio said that in tandem with confirming the prisoner release, Israeli authorities would announce a new swathe of settler housing to be built in the occupied West Bank or annexed east Jerusalem.

It did not specify how many homes or where.

An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a text message Thursday evening that such continued construction was part of "understandings" reached with the Palestinians and the Americans ahead of the renewal of talks.

"Israel will continue in the coming months to announce building in the settlement blocs and in Jerusalem," he wrote.

"Both the Americans and the Palestinians were aware in advance of these understandings."

The last direct talks collapsed in September 2010 over continued Jewish settlement building in the occupied West Bank

In August, Israeli authorities approved the construction of more than 2,000 settlement units in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. That came just days before a round of direct bilateral talks, leading the Palestinians to warn that the fledgling process was in danger of collapse.

Israeli media also said Thursday that military forensics experts would begin DNA testing next month on relatives of at least 30 Palestinians killed over the years in attacks on Israelis, with a view to returning their remains where a match was found.

Public radio said the move was unrelated to the peace talks and was in response to a petition by the families to the Supreme Court.

Exclusive: Germany, Brazil Turn to U.N. to Restrain American Spies

Bee's Note:  For more links on this issue:

Posted By Colum Lynch, Shane Harris, John Hudson  

Brazil and Germany today joined forces to press for the adoption of a U.N. General Resolution that promotes the right of privacy on the internet, marking the first major international effort to restrain the National Security Agency's intrusions into the online communications of foreigners, according to diplomatic sources familiar with the push.
The effort follows a German claim that the American spy agency may have tapped the private telephone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dozens of other world leaders. It also comes about one month after Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff denounced NSA espionage against her country as "a breach of international law" in a General Assembly speech and proposed that the U.N. establish legal guidelines to prevent "cyberspace from being used as a weapon of war."
Brazilian and German diplomats met in New York today with a small group of Latin American and European governments to consider a draft resolution that calls for expanding privacy rights contained in the International Covenant Civil and Political Rights to the online world. The draft does not refer to a flurry of American spying revelations that have caused a political uproar around the world, particularly in Brazil and Germany. But it was clear that the revelation provided the political momentum to trigger today's move to the United Nations. The blowback from the NSA leakscontinues to agonize U.S. diplomats and military officials concerned about America's image abroad.
"This is an example of the very worst aspects of the Snowden disclosures," a former defense official with deep experience in NATO, told The Cable, referring to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. "It will be very difficult for the US to dig out of this, although we will over time. The short term costs in credibility and trust are enormous."
Although the U.N.'s ability to fundamentally constrain the NSA is nil, the mounting international uproar over U.S. surveillance has security experts fearful for the ramifications.
"The worst case scenario I think would be having our European allies saying they will no longer share signals intelligence because of a concern that our SigInt is being derived from mechanisms that violate their privacy rules," said Ray Kimball, an army strategist with policy experience on European issues. He stressed that he was not speaking for the military.    READ MORE HERE

Thursday, October 24, 2013

BREAKING: Experts' Report: Iran Could Have a Nuclear Bomb Within a Month

Bee's note:  Israeli News has just published the following report on Iran.  This will explain the urgency and focus of this blogger on the "talks" the Obama administration is having with Iran and the "behind the scenes" stalling by the Iranian government.
Experts' Report: Iran Could Have a Nuclear Bomb Within a Month
Iran could produce enough uranium to build a nuclear bomb in a month, according to the Institute for Science and International Security.
AAFont Size
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/25/2013, 4:14 AM
Nuclear reactor (illustration)
Nuclear reactor (illustration)
Flash 90

Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month, according to a new estimate by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), considered one of the United States’ top nuclear experts.

ISIS made the estimate in a new report published on Thursday byUSA Today.
"Shortening breakout times have implications for any negotiation with Iran," stated the report. "An essential finding is that they are currently too short and shortening further."
David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the estimate means that Iran would have to eliminate more than half its 19,000 centrifuges to extend the time it would take to build a bomb to six months.

The Obama administration has said Iran is probably a year away from having enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. Requests for comment on the ISIS report from the National Security Council and the State Department were not answered.

In the report, Albright said negotiations with Iran should focus on so-called "breakout" times, or the time required to convert low-enriched uranium to weapons-grade, according to USA Today.

Albright, who has testified before Congress, said the negotiators should try to find ways to lengthen the breakout times and shorten the time that inspectors could detect breakout.

ISIS' analysis is based on the latest Iranian and United Nations reports on Iran's centrifuge equipment for producing nuclear fuel and its nuclear fuel stockpiles.

Iran's stockpile of highly enriched uranium has nearly doubled in a year's time and its number of centrifuges has expanded from 12,000 in 2012 to 19,000 today.

Senator Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican whose Senate Banking Committee is considering legislation to tighten Iran sanctions, said the report shows that Iran is expanding its nuclear capabilities under the cover of negotiations.

"The Senate should move forward immediately with a new round of sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring an undetectable breakout capability," he told USA Today.

The White House has said new sanctions legislation should wait while current negotiations - scheduled to resume officially in Geneva next month - are moving forward.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said his country has no interest in nuclear weapons but that producing nuclear fuel is Iran's right. His foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, has said Iran will not ship its nuclear stockpile to a third country.

Iran has refused to let international inspectors into its nuclear facilities to verify they are being used for peaceful purposes, access required under international agreements it has signed.

On Wednesday it was reported that a prominent Iranian lawmaker has claimed that Tehran does not need any more 20 percent-enriched uranium.

“Tehran reactor fuel has been supplied and currently no need is felt for production of 20 percent-enriched uranium," the lawmaker, Hossein Naqvi Hosseini, was quoted as saying.

He added that "Tehran is ready to convert its stockpile of 20 percent-enriched uranium to fuel rods and remove concerns over its non-peaceful use.”

The comments come a week after Iranian negotiators met withrepresentatives of the so-called P5+1 - the United States, China, Russia,France, Britain and Germany.

During the two-day session in Geneva, the first round of talks between the sides since the election of Rouhani, Iran presented what it described as a breakthrough proposal that would include snap inspections of its atomic sites.

The proposal was described by the White House as "useful". White House spokesman Jay Carney said it showed a "level of seriousness and substance that we have not seen before." Western negotiators described the talks as the most detailed and serious to date.
ISIS estimated in October of 2012 that Iran could produce enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb within 2-4 months. The new estimate is based on an analysis of the latest reports by Iran and the IAEA.
ISIS considered various scenarios, including if Iran decided to build a covert enrichment plant like it has under a mountain in Fordow, near the city of Qoms, that was designed for optimal efficiency and minimal time to enrich enough uranium for bomb making.

Such a facility built with current Iranian technology could produce enough material for a bomb in a week, according to the ISIS report.

"If they did that and they were caught it would be a smoking gun of a nuclear weapons program," Albright said, according to USA Today.

ISIS has in the past produced satellite imagery which proves that Iran was making alterations to the Parchin complex, a military site that the IAEA says was possibly used to test conventional explosive triggers for a nuclear blast.

Iran has refused to give the IAEA access to sites, documents and scientists involved in what the agency suspects were efforts, mostly in the past but possibly ongoing, to develop nuclear weapons.


Quietly, Israel and the Gulf States Draw Closer Together

Seeing a hopelessly naive America, Jews and Arabs are finding common ground to face the Iranian menace.

October 24, 2013 - 10:42 am
by Johnathan Spyer
Recent remarks by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have fueled renewed speculation of behind-the-scenes links between Israel and the Gulf monarchies.

Netanyahu, speaking at the UN, said that “the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy.”

He added: “This affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”
There have been subsequent rumors of visits by senior Gulf officials to Israel, to discuss matters of common interest.
While it is difficult to acquire details of these contacts at the present time, it is a near certainty that they exist, on one level or another. Conversations with Israeli officials suggest that much is happening behind the scenes.
Israel and the key states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (most importantly, Saudi Arabia) share core views on the nature of key regional processes currently underway, and their desired outcome.  These commonalities have existed for some time, and it is likely that the contacts are themselves not all that new.
There are three areas in which Israel and the countries of the GCC (with the exception of Qatar) are on the same page.
They are: the urgency of the threat represented by the prospect of a nuclear Iran, the danger represented by the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood over the last two years, and the perception that the United States fails to understand the urgency of these threats and, as a result, is acting in a naive and erroneous way on both.
On the Iranian nuclear issue, Riyadh is deeply troubled by the current Iranian ‘charm offensive’ and its apparent effects on the west.  Most importantly, the Saudis fear the prospect of a nuclear Iran, which could force Riyadh and the Gulf states to bend to its will, in return for guaranteeing the flow of oil through the Straits of Hormuz, and avoiding direct encroachment on their sources of energy.
Saudi Arabia faces Iran, directly across the Gulf.  It is a far more fragile construction than its Shia, Persian neighbor.  Over the decades, Riyadh and the other Gulf states sought to balance Iranian encroachment of this type through alliance with the U.S.
But the U.S. no longer seems such a reliable ally. So new strong and like-minded friends are needed.
On the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudis feared the spread of this movement across the region, and were infuriated by the role of Qatar in supporting its successes in recent years.
Israel, too, was deeply concerned at the prospect of a new alliance of Sunni Islamist states, with AKP-led Turkey and Morsi’s Egypt chief among them.
Over the past year, the advance of the Muslim Brothers has been halted and partially reversed. In Tunisia and Egypt, the MB administrations have gone.  Qatar has a new, less activist emir.  The Muslim Brothers and Qatar have grown weaker among the Syrian rebels.
Saudi Arabia has been responsible for some of this, through financial support and political action. It has welcomed all of it.  So has Israel.
On the U.S.: the Saudis think that the current U.S. administration is hopelessly naive on the Middle East.  They were shocked at the abandonment of Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in 2011.  They are equally vexed at the current indications of American and Western willingness to lift some sanctions against Iran in return for cosmetic concessions that would leave the core of Teheran’s nuclear program intact.
The Saudis were the first to congratulate General Abd al-Fatah al Sissi following his military coup in early July.  They are utterly dismayed by the current U.S. withholding of part of Washington’s package of military aid to Cairo because of what the U.S. regards as the insufficiently speedy transition back to elections in Egypt.
Again, Israel shares these perspectives. The absence of American leadership may well be the key factor in causing Israel and the Gulf states to draw closer.
On the face of it, any alliance between Jewish Israel and Salafi Saudi Arabia might appear an absurdity.  Israel is a liberal democracy and a Jewish state.  Saudi Arabia is a repressive absolute monarchy, based on a particular Salafi Muslim outlook which is deeply anti-Jewish and anti-Christian in nature.
This ideology is not a dead letter for the Saudis.  Rather, they invest heavily in spreading their particular rigid form of Islam in the west and elsewhere.  Their media and education system are rife with anti-Jewish prejudice.
But a clear distinction is made by the Saudis between the world of ideology/media/culture and the realm of raison d’etat.  Hence, there is no reason to think they would not be able to publicly vilify Israel, while maintaining off the radar links with it against more immediate enemies.
In this regard, it is worth remembering the Wikileaks revelation of remarks made in private by Saudi King Abdullah to American General David Petraeus in April, 2008, in which he recommended military action against the Iranian nuclear program.  The king referred to Iran as the “head of the snake,” which should be cut off.   No similarly venomous remarks on Israel were quoted from the conversation, which took place far from the public eye.
Of course the common interests only go so far.  Saudi Arabia supports Salafi Islamist forces in both Syria and Egypt.  Saudi money finds its way to Salafi elements among the Palestinians.  But the areas of commonality are on issues of cardinal importance to both countries.
The de facto, unseen alliance between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries is one of the most intriguing structures currently emerging amid the whirling chaos of the Middle East.
Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2011).

Now Turkey, Qatar bail on Obama.

Iran’s ‘biggest enemies’ have change of heart following U.S. reproachment


JERUSALEM — It’s not only Saudi Arabia. Now major U.S. allies Turkey and Qatar are discussing developing closer relations with Russia at the expense of America, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

In a shocking development, the security officials further said Qatar and Turkey are leading secret talks to study the possibility of renewing relations with foes Syria and Iran in response to President Obama opening dialogue with Tehran over the nuclear file.

Qatar and Turkey, along with Saudi Arabia, were deeply involved in supporting the insurgency targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Those countries are said to be some of the biggest opponents to Iran’s alleged nuclear aspirations.

According to the security officials speaking to KleinOnline, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are disappointed with Obama’s reproach toward Iran and what they view as a U.S. failure to act militarily in Syria.

“They view America has losing major credibility,” said one official

The foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, the officials say, have been quietly discussing a change in attitude toward Syria and Iran along with closer strategic relations with Russia that could include weapons and oil deals.

Yesterday, the Jerusalem Post reported Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, said his country will make a “major shift” away from its relationship with the United States in protest over Obama’s dialogue with Iran and inaction in Syria.

Bee's note: 
"Yesterday marked the 30th Anniversary of an Iran-Led Attack on an American peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
The families of 241 Americans who died, as well as those who survived, the Marine Corps, Secure America Now, and others recognize the sacrifice of these Americans, those who died and those injured.
And we remember that Iran planned and executed this terrorist attack.
Sadly, the White House and the Department of Defense, deliberately failed to recognize Iran's central role in the attack against the United States. The Obama Administration neglects to consider the fact that the commander of the 1983 attack is now serving as Iran's Defense Minister. Moreover Iran's radical Islamic regime -- which funded and executed the attack -- is still in power. Learn more about Iran's 30+ Year War Against America.
Why did the Obama Administration "forget" Iran's role?
The Obama Administration wants to cut a foolish deal with Iran -- whereby the United States eases economic pressures on Iran, and allows Iran to continue pursuing its nuclear program.
By distorting the history of the 1983 state-sponsored terror attack, the Obama Administration wishes to conceal the true threat of Iran and give false comfort to Americans. Iran gladly accepts the ploy, as it encourages America's enemies to continue their charge."  -- by Tony Attanasio
Once again, as I mentioned earlier today, the Obama administration does whatever necessary to hide, conceal, and change history, to cover up the deeds of America's enemies.  I believe in doing so, this amounts to treason, as the Oath of Office is to protect these United States, under the US Constitution.  Perhaps one day someone will explain (excuse) why our leaders prefer to ignore the policies of an administration that place America in "harm's way".  Iran's hatred towards Israel is matched by its hatred towards the "Big Satan" - the United States.  As you look at photos of the 1983 bombing, ask yourself if these are lessons "unlearned".

Kerry did not convince Netanyahu "demands flexibility from Iran'

Bee's note:  
The following news report translation from Hebrew.  Sometime it is better to go to the source, rather than the usual US English news stands to understand what our allies are saying:  and PM Netanyahu is saying to Kerry: "You have got to be kidding me!" 
An Israeli friend wrote this morning: 
"Following Netanyahu's talks with Kerry, Kerry did not convince Netanyahu.Again we are alone with the troubles of existence.I think that next to the question "Is the nucleus for the need of peace, or for something atrocious".  There is another question that arises, "Is the question of existence of our people, will never end?,,"How can this be?Is a half-life of the Jewish people, depending on insanity of Muslims now?" -- Ron
Obviously, from Ron's point of view (the same as PM Netanyahu's), and from the British and Saudi's views, and from many within our own Congress, the Obama administration is walking on thin ice in its attempts to "diplomatically" befriend Iran, while not demanding total stoppage of Iran's goal to obtain nuclear weapons.  
Among nations, I do not know of any that work as closely together as Israel does with the United States.  To most Israelis, they would rather cut off their right arm before offending the U.S.  Israel is the "stabilizer" in the Middle East surrounded by the hotbed of flames of war among the Arab nations and at its borders.  
My response to Ron is this: 
"May this be the deciding moment for Israel and PM Netanyahu.  Unlike WWII, Israelis are not standing before the boxcar trains, awaiting to be sent to their deaths.  Today, we have our "Chamberlains" and those who do not see beyond their noses, to understand the dangers of a "nuclear" Iran.  However, Israel's contributions to the world, through its technology, science, medical discoveries, agriculture, and its Intelligence has no need to consider itself "alone" in respects to their ability to protect its nation and its citizens.We, who support Israel, may not have the "power" to influence our own politicians to do what is right (until we get to the voting booths), but understanding the threat to the world by a nuclear Iran is enough to recognize that Israel must do whatever is necessary to prevent that from happening - with or without this administration's support.
Israel has defined the Enemy!  The United States has been hiding the Enemy, from Ft. Hood to Syria, removing all traces of the traits of our Enemy, by erasing its description in ALL federal Intelligence manuals.  We speak smooth words about "tolerance", while our Enemies are plotting their next 9/11.  We talk about "diplomacy" with the very enemies who are rushing to obtain the "Bomb" in order to become the greatest tyrant/dictator of the entire Middle East and world.  Iran will make North Korea look like a child, compared to the insanity of Iran's leaders.  If our leaders cannot visualize this, or comprehend the threats, then may God help us all. If my friend Ron is correct and "Israel is alone", than Israel has every right to defend its nation from the threat of being 'wiped off the map'.
 I agree with Joyce Kaufman (video):

October 24, 2013
The New York Times reports that conversation yesterday in Rome, Secretary of State Kerry failed to convince Netanyahu to ease the demands complete dismantlement of a nuclear Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, failed to persuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ease the demands complete dismantling of Iran's nuclear capability - so reports New York TimesDuring their meeting in Rome Secretary of State Kerry tried to calm Netanyahu and said that the Obama administration driving carefully in negotiations with Iran. "Better not be an agreement at all bad agreement," Kerry said, "However, if the problem can be solved diplomatically, it is of course better."
According to the report, Kerry's words convinced Netanyahu, who said that there is no compromise in negotiations with Tehran and insisted that Iran fully decompose its nuclear capability. The two leaders met yesterday in Rome and talked for more than seven hours on the latest developments in the negotiations with Tehran. Netanyahu returned to Israel this morning. 
According to the report, apart from Israel, the United States is now facing criticism from ally Saudi Arabia. No recent visits to Paris and London, Kerry was forced to deny that the United States Saudi Arabia debated the U.S. policy in Iran, Egypt and Syria.
In closed meetings with Western diplomats, as well as official statements Saudi officials transferred criticized the conduct of the United States by the events in the Middle East. Saudi officials have made it clear that they do not approve of the American abstention from helping rebels in Syria fighting President Assad. Also, like Israel, Saudi Arabia is not interested in negotiations leading to a settlement with Iran.
Meanwhile, British Ambassador Matthew Gould, said that Israel is not alone in dealing with Iran. "I understand the British Parliament voted against Syria attack caused concern in Israel, but Iran is a different matter," Gold said at a meeting of the Jerusalem Post, "Iranian nuclear development will lead to an arms race, which will affect the whole world."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Iran stalls, centrifuges spin

Jennifer RubinWashington Post, October 16, 2013
First the Iranian foreign ministry learned how to tweet; now we are told their negotiators are using PowerPoint. Can peace in our time be far off?
That's the mindset of many eager in the media to help the administration paint a picture of progress at the nuclear arms talks just concluded in Geneva, Switzerland. In fact, in the words of an official of a pro-Israel organization, "Nothing — nothing has changed." Iran is still enriching, the centrifuges are spinning and Iran is still insisting it has a "right" to enrich and has no nuclear arms program. As the official put it, "This isn't the first time we've seen this rodeo." The regime has spent all of Obama's first term and some of George W. Bush's talking, but not deviating one iota from its nuclear weapons plans.
The mullahs have "offered" a freeze on current enrichment for a period of time and a reduction in its existing stockpile in exchange for lifting all sanctions. This is preposterous in as much as it leaves Iran with a short "breakout" capacity of a few months or less and relief from sanctions. Critics of U.S. policy were emphatic about the need for Congress to act. Cliff May of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told me, "Congress and the administration should move ahead immediately to ratchet up the sanctions pressure. Doing so may push Iran dangerously close to the economic edge. And that, in turn, might make clear to Iran's rulers that it will require serious concessions — not smiles and empty rhetoric about 'trust-building' — to save their regime." He adds, "Failing that, only the use of military force will stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability — with all consequences that implies."
Indeed, State Department negotiator Wendy Sherman testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently that if the administration didn't get results, it would urge Congress to move ahead. Since there are no actions that would constitute proof of Iran's willingness to give up its stockpile and dismantle its program, shouldn't Sherman be heading for the Hill to demand lawmakers squeeze the mullahs further, blocking Iran's access to banking and to U.S. dollars? Don't hold your breath.
A former official who believes the administration's approach is misguided e-mailed me: "It would be useful if House and Senate did something to stiffen admin's spine. I am afraid [Sherman] will negotiate from the Iranian offer, and they will get far more than half a loaf. What the Iranians appear to have offered allows them to keep their whole program and all their enriched uranium."
Judging from bipartisan letters and comments before the Geneva meeting, there is a good chance Congress will act. A senior Senate aide involved in previous sanctions legislation told me, "The supreme leader saw nothing but Western weakness in Geneva, and so he's probably feeling pretty good right now about his chances of getting a nuclear weapons capability. That feeling will fade fast because the strength and will of the U.S. Senate is about to send his regime into economic ruin. Most senators are ready to take sanctions to a 10 — now."
The administration likes to use buzz words — "workmanlike," "productive," etc. — to describe these talks. But the only workmen are in the nuclear weapons facility, and the production going on is more and more enriched uranium. The former U.S. official suggests that for starters a full and total acknowledgment of Iran's previous nuclear weapons program would demonstrate some change of heart. That has yet to happen. The administration seems eager to be conned; Congress will need to be the voice of realism. Otherwise, it seems inevitable that Israel will act militarily sooner rather than later.

'Israel will not accept deal that allows Iran to enrich uranium', Ya'alon warns.

Bee's note:  Earlier, I posted a brief video of PM Netanyahu meeting with Kerry in Rome today.  One of their key topics to be discussed will be Iran.  This report should eliminate any questions one may have about Israel's seriousness of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.  

'Israel will not accept deal that allows Iran to enrich uranium'
In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Ya'alon warns that Iran is still pushing forward toward nuclear weapons •Ya'alon says so far Syria is adhering to its commitments to dismantle chemical weapons.
Defense Minister Bogie Ya'alon 
 Photo credit: Ziv Koren