Tag Archives: Tehran

Iran side deal allows Iran to inspect its own nuclear weapons site

He's better at golf than foreign policy
He’s way better at golf than foreign policy, and he sucks at golf

Everything is awesome!

The normally-leftist Associated Press explains how awesome everything is:

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.

[…]The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons.

[…]The Parchin agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers were not party to it but were briefed by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package.

Everything is fine, stop worrying. Obama and Kerry and Clinton think that there is nothing wrong with this side deal. We can trust Iran to inspect themselves, it’s not like they’ve cheated on any agreements in the past. Oh wait, they have.

The Wall Street Journal points out:

Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hasn’t read the side deal, though his negotiating deputy Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that she “saw the pieces of paper” but couldn’t keep them. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has told Members of the U.S. Congress that he’s bound by secrecy and can’t show them the side deals.

That secrecy should be unacceptable to Congress—all the more so after the AP dispatch. The news service says it has seen a document labelled “separate arrangement II.” The document says Iran will provide the IAEA with photos and locations that the IAEA says are linked to Iran’s weapons work, “taking into account military concerns.”

In other words, the country that lied for years about its nuclear weapons program will now be trusted to come clean about those lies. And trusted to such a degree that it can limit its self-inspections so they don’t raise “military concerns” in Iran.

Foreign policy expert Charles Krauthammer is not pleased:

But let’s just trust Iran again, because Obama needs a legacy. What are you, a racist? You better shut up before the IRS audits you.

Iran’s dictator Ahmadinejad: Israel’s existence is an “insult to all humanity”

Map of the Middle East
Map of the Middle East

From the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said confronting Israel is an effort to “protect the dignity of all human beings”.

“The existence of the Zionist regime is an insult to all humanity,” Ahmadinejad said. He was addressing worshippers at Tehran University after nationwide pro-Palestinian rallies, an annual event marking Quds (Jerusalem) Day on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Israel considers Iran an existential threat because of its nuclear and missile programs, support for radical anti-Israel groups on its borders and repeated references by Iranian leaders to Israel’s destruction. Ahmadinejad himself has repeatedly made such calls, as has Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

[…]Ahmadinejad called Israel “a corrupt, anti-human organized minority group standing up to all divine values”.

“Today, confronting the existence of the fabricated Zionist regime is in fact protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings,” said Ahmadinejad, with a black and white scarf many Palestinians wear around his neck.

Demonstrators in Tehran set U.S. and Israeli flags on fire and chanted “Death to the US” and “Death to Israel” during their pro-Palestinian rally.

Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies for decades. Khamenei has called Israel a “cancerous tumor” that must be wiped out.

Tensions between Iran and Israel have intensified since 2005, when Ahmadinejad said in a speech that Israel will one day be “wiped off the map.” The Iranian president has also described the Holocaust, when 6 million Jews were killed by German Nazis and their collaborators during World War II, as a “myth”.

Do you think that Barack Obama is going to do anything about this? He has done nothing whatsoever to protect Israel in four years. And more, he’s actually acted to embolden Iran. When he had the chance to speak out in favor of pro-democracy movements in Iran, he chose the Iranian theocrats instead. Defense analysts have speculated that the Obama administration leaked Israel’s plan to strike the Iranian nuclear facilities.

Mark Levin interviewed a former Marine strike planner who had this to say about the leak:

I just want to comment on this revelation by the State Department regarding this Israel-Azerbaijan connection. A few years ago, I was writing an article and studying how Israel might go about attacking Iran with the assets we knew they had…

I’ve got experience as a Marine F-4 Phantom Radar Interceptor Officer. I’ve planned strike missions. I’ve got a thousand hours in the Phantom. So I’m familiar with the problems strike planners have in attacking a target or multiple targets like Iran. And as I looked at the map, I thought: ‘Boy, oh, boy, if the Israelis had an alliance with Azerbaijan, that would be the perfect place to launch a strike.

They’ve got this beautiful, 10,000-foot concrete runway in Baku. You take off, you come right out over the Caspian Sea. The pilots flip on their radar altimeters, drop down 25-feet off the deck, and they just race in a straight line.

They pop up over some hills, and they’re in Tehran before the Iranians even know what hit them. They could then go hit the other targets. It reduces the distance for this strike by, oh, six, seven hundred miles. It might alleviate the need for tankers. Or, if they do need tanker support, you could put them over the Caspian Sea…

…The beauty of Baku is that the Caspian Sea is right at the end of the runway. It’s a straight shot, maybe 300 miles, from that base to Tehran. A good radar altimeter will get an F-4, F-16, F-15 strike fighter maybe 25 feet off the water. Going in at that altitude, you’re not going to be picked up by radar.

But there’s something even more important here. The Iranians are not expecting an attack from the north. Now, with the revelation of this relationship, they are. And that has a lot of implications beyond the tactical.

Think of it this way. Prior to this revelation, the Iranians — although they noticed some connections between Israel and Azerbaijan — didn’t know how deep that connection was.

Now the Iranians can start bullying the Azerbaijanis. They can send a diplomat up to Baku and say, basically, ‘if any Israeli plane hits us from the north, when we get our nuke, we are going to test it on Baku. Of course that will all happen behind the scenes, but the threat will be made.

Now, I want you to consider this: there are many ways to attack Iran. You can go for the nuke sites. Or you can go for a decapitation strike. A decapitation strike is a much easier operation if you’re coming from Azerbaijan.

Think of it this way: every once in a while, the Iranians have a little get-together. They bring all of the Mullahs together in one place… Why not? They’d be doing us and the world a tremendous favor if they did that.

And it’s not going to happen now.

I can guarantee that all of those new Soviet anti-aircraft missiles that the Iranians bought are all going up north now, pointed and waiting for something there. In fact, they’ll probably put radars on the Caspian from the mountaintops there, just to see if there’s anything come up off the water.

Strategic, tactical surprise: gone.

You have to ask for the motivation behind the leak. I mean, if the Israelis can do this operation, it’s to our benefit! From a diplomatic standpoint, if you wanted to tell the Iranians that the Israelis did this, it’s without our permission. And then try to butter up the Iranians after the strike, so they don’t close the Strait of Hormuz, that’s one thing.

But giving away all of the secrets of an ally? When you’re doing that, you have to ask whether we still have Israel as an ally. We are not acting like an ally. In fact, if you ask me, based on the amount of time I expect the Israelis put in this relationship with Azerbaijan, I would start viewing this administration as an existential threat to Israel.

Recall that there have been accusations that the Obama administration has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood – the same Muslim Brotherhood that is reported to be crucifying their political opponents following the Egyptian elections. The Muslim Brotherhood that took power after Obama helped them to overthrow the Egyptian government. The Muslim Brotherhood that got $1.5 billion dollars from Obama, who bypassed Congress in order to do it. The Muslim Brotherhood whose leader was invited to the White House by Obama. Not only that, but the Obama administration has done nothing about the sale of weapons to Iran from China – weapons that are then transferred to Hezbollah to be used to sink Israeli ships.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney has come out in favor of defending Israel.

Iran set to steal military technology from the drone Obama gave them

Fars News reports. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

Senior Iranian officials announced here in Tehran on Monday that experts of the country’s Science and Defense Ministries are likely to launch joint cooperation to study and analyze the technology of the US drone that was downed by Iran early in December.

“We have had some meetings with the Defense Minister about the kind of cooperation that the academic community can have with our country’s Armed Forces on the US spy drone and once we come to the final conclusions we will be ready for cooperation,” Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology Kamran Daneshjou told FNA on Monday.

“The country’s universities have informed the Science Ministry that they are ready to study and analyze the US stealth drone and demanded the Science Ministry to inform the Defense Ministry of their preparedness in this regard,” he added.

Iran first announced on December 4 that its defense forces had downed the aircraft through a sophisticated cyber attack.

The drone is the first such loss by the US. US officials have described the loss of the aircraft in Iran as a setback and a fatal blow to the stealth drone program.

The RQ-170 has special coatings and a batwing shape designed to help it penetrate other nations’ air defenses undetected.

So what was Obama doing when he refused to act to destroy the drone? (See video above)

Obama doesn't have time for national security
Obama doesn't have time for national security

Obama golfs while Iranians neutralize our stealth drone program. George W. Bush golfed 24 times in 8 years. Obama has golfed 90 times in 3 years. I think he needs to do less golfing, and more national security decision making.

Obama’s decision to retreat in Iraq is a disaster for American foreign policy

Let’s see what everyone thinks about Obama’s decision withdraw 40,000 troops from Iraq, effectively handing control of much of the Middle East to Iran.

Disregards the advice of his own generals

From the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

No doubt this will be politically popular—at least in the short-term. Mr. Obama can say he honored a campaign pledge, Congress will move to spend the money on domestic programs, and a war-weary American public will be relieved to carry fewer overseas burdens. Or at least Americans will feel such relief as long as this total withdrawal doesn’t cost the hard-fought political and strategic gains that our intervention has won.

There are serious risks in this complete withdrawal. Iraq has made great progress in providing its own security, with some 600,000 Iraqi troops gradually taking the handoff from U.S. forces. But the Iraqis still lack vital military assets in intelligence and logistics, not to mention naval and air power. Mr. Obama said the U.S. will continue to discuss “how we might help Iraq train and equip its forces,” but this is no substitute for a more robust, long-term presence of the kind we retain in South Korea and Japan 60 years after the end of the Korean War.

The U.S. commander in Iraq, General Lloyd Austin, had requested between 15,000 and 18,000 troops, before reducing it to 10,000 under pressure. Such a U.S. presence would reassure Iraq and its neighbors of our continuing commitment to the region. It would help play the role of honest broker among Iraq’s ethnic factions as it continues to build a more durable political system.

And above all it would reduce Iran’s ability to meddle in Iraq, building local militias on the Hezbollah model with a goal of making its neighbor a Shiite vassal state. Iran’s Quds force—the same outfit that wanted to assassinate a Saudi ambassador on U.S. soil—is the biggest winner from Mr. Obama’s pullout.

Bungled negotiations

From Foreign Policy magazine. (H/T The Washington Post)

Excerpt:

“Iraq is not a normal country, the security environment is not normal, the embassy is not a normal embassy,” said Marisa Cochrane Sullivan, managing director at the Institute for the Study of War, who traveled to Iraq this summer and has been sounding the alarm about what she saw as the mishandling of the negotiations ever since.

For more evidence that the administration actually wanted to extend the troop presence in Iraq, despite today’s words by Obama and McDonough, one only has to look at the statements of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

In July, Panetta urged Iraqi leaders to, “Dammit, make a decision” about the U.S. troop extension. In August, he told reporters that, “My view is that they finally did say, ‘Yes.'” On Oct. 17, he was still pushing for the extension and said, “At the present time I’m not discouraged because we’re still in negotiations with the Iraqis.”

Sullivan was one of 40 conservative foreign policy professionals who wrote to Obama in September to warn that even a residual force of 4,000 troops would “leave the country more vulnerable to internal and external threats, thus imperiling the hard-fought gains in security and governance made in recent years at significant cost to the United States.”

She said that the administration’s negotiating strategy was flawed for a number of reasons: it failed to take into account Iraqi politics, failed to reach out to a broad enough group of Iraqi political leaders, and sent contradictory messages on the troop extension throughout the process.

“From the beginning, the talks unfolded in a way where they largely driven by domestic political concerns, both in Washington and Baghdad. Both sides let politics drive the process, rather than security concerns,” said Sullivan.

Emboldens Syria and their puppet-master, Iran

From National Review.

Excerpt:

The announcement of our total withdrawal comes just weeks after the revelation of an Iranian plot to execute the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. on our soil. It comes as Iran’s key Arab ally, the Assad regime in Syria, is rocked by a revolt. Just as Tehran’s dangerousness is put in stark relief and as events in Syria threaten to deal it a strategic setback, it gets this windfall.

[…][Obama’s] commanders on the ground wanted to keep more than 20,000 troops in Iraq (the administration had bid this number down to several thousand, perhaps convincing Iraqi political players that cutting a painful deal on immunity wouldn’t have enough of a corresponding upside). Such a force would have enhanced our political leverage in Baghdad, checked Iran’s already considerable influence, ensured against a return of al-Qaeda, and helped keep a lid on Arab–Kurdish tensions in the north. Now, we’ll simply have to hope for the best. Deputy National Security Advisor Dennis McDonough said Iraq is “secure, stable, and self-reliant.” It is none of these things. Its government is still inchoate and it is not capable of defending itself from Iran in the air or on the ground.

Our pullout is a bonanza for Tehran. Its militias were already active in Iraq. Now, it can use Iraq for bases for its proxy forces to spread its tentacles in the rest of the Persian Gulf. Independent ayotollahs in Iraq will have an incentive to keep their heads down. Political decisions of the Iranian-influenced Shiite bloc running the country are sure to begin to tilt more and more Iran’s way. Our diplomatic leverage will diminish, even as maintain our largest embassy in the world in Baghdad. The Iranians will crow in Iraq and throughout the region that they were right that the Americans would eventually leave.

We expended a great deal of blood and treasure to topple Saddam Hussein, and then to establish enough order so that George W. Bush’s successor would only have to consolidate our gains. President Obama is careless enough to risk throwing it all away, and shameless enough to call it success.

For those who are not aware of the looming storm in the Middle East, you should read in full this article from the Washington Times. It is authored by Frank Gaffney, the President of the Center for Security Policy. He covers several troubling data points in Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Russia and Mexico. As if that were not bad enough, it looks as if the debt limit super-committee is now deadlocked in negotiations, which will trigger automatic cuts to our defense budget, at the worst possible moment.

Obama silent following rigged Iranian election and protester beatings

Iranian woman shakes fist at police
Why doesn't Obama stand up for freedom and democracy in Iran?

Fox News reports that the election was fraudulent, accoring to U.S. analysts: (H/T Hot Air)

U.S. analysts find it “not credible” that challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi would have lost the balloting in his hometown or that a third candidate, Mehdi Karoubi, would have received less than 1 percent of the total vote, a senior U.S. officials told FOX News.

Hot Air has tons of updates at the link above, and a video of the protest.

The UK Times reports: (H/T Pajamas Media)

In the Iranian capital’s most serious unrest for 10 years, thousands of liberals who claimed the election had been rigged vented their fury in running battles with police.

They fought officers armed with batons and stun grenades, set fire to police vehicles and threw stones at government buildings.

I saw police in camouflage uniforms and black flak jackets respond by firing the grenades from motorcycles into a crowd that chanted “Down with the dictator” and denounced what it called a stolen election.

In a stand-off near the interior ministry, which oversaw the count, opposition supporters formed barricades of burning tyres, sending plumes of smoke over the city. Helmeted police chased protesters who became detached from the main group and beat them with truncheons.

Hot Air linked to this BBC video, in which protests cry for freedom are beaten by police: (H/T Hot Air)

Fox News reports on the response of the Obama administration: (H/T Gateway Pundit)

The Obama administration would not describe the outcome as legitimate or illegitimate or deem a victory by Mousavi as necessarily better.

“We’re not going to characterize what would have been a better or worse scenario,” the official said. “We will deal with this as it is, not as we wish it to be.

And they also report on the Republican response, which is quite different:

“There appears to be pretty good evidence that this is a cooked election,” Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., told FOX News. “And the most depressing thing for me is we were going to see whether in fact the true leaders of this country, the religious leaders, were going to allow for a real election to have an expression of the people.

Michael Ledeen describes the atrocities:

  • Mousavi and Karrubi, the two “reformist” candidates in Friday’s “elections” are under house arrest, along with dozens of their followers;
  • “Reformist” journalists and activists have been rounded up and jailed;
  • Cell phones (including, after a day’s delay, international cell phones) have been blocked, access to internet has been filtered, facebook is unreachable, and you can’t tweet (can the silencing of Western reporters be far behind?);
  • In Tehran, student dormitories are surrounded by security forces.

The Tehran Journal claims 50-100 protesters are dead. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

The NYT reports on Obama’s response:

The Obama administration is determined to press on with efforts to engage the Iranian government, senior officials said Saturday, despite misgivings about irregularities in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…

Business as usual… just keep talking with them, and hope they will forgive us for all our misdeeds. There is not going to be a challenge to this coup from the White House… the Iranian people are on their own.

Gateway Pundit linked to some photos are here and here.

Hot Air has links to Twitter channels if you want to keep on top of the unfolding story.