One week before the June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made a series of demands about the final terms. Among them: He called for an immediate end to all United Nations Security Council and U.S. economic sanctions on Iran; he said Iranian military sites would not be subject to international inspections; he declared that Iran would not abide a long-term freeze on nuclear research; and he ruled out interviews with individuals associated with Iran’s nuclear program as part of any enforcement plan.
The New York Times headline read “Iran’s Supreme Leader, Khamenei, Seems to Pull Back on Nuclear Talks.” That’s one explanation. The more likely one: Khamenei understands that Barack Obama is desperate for this deal and will agree to just about anything to make it a reality. In private remarks caught on tape, top White House foreign policy adviser Ben Rhodes likened the Iran deal to Obamacare in its importance to the administration. And on April 2, the president held a press conference to celebrate the preliminary “historic understanding with Iran” that, he said, was “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”
But the impending deal is not a good one. It legitimizes a rogue state, shifts regional power to the world’s most aggressive state sponsor of terror, strengthens the mullahs’ hold on power, and guides Iran to nuclear threshold status. Those are not our “core objectives.” They are Iran’s. Read more at The Weekly Standard.
If you had asked me two weeks ago about whether or not a deal between the West and Iran was feasible, I would have said yes. The Americans are eager to reach a deal, much more than the Iranians are, and the Iranians desperately need it.
The U.S. is no longer operating under Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2013 declaration that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” The belief now is that any deal that can be signed is better than having no deal at all.
To this end the U.S. is willing to compromise on nearly all of the West’s demands. Iran’s leaders understand this and they have no qualms about raising the stakes, meaning not only are they refusing to compromise, they may even backtrack on agreements already made in the past.
The U.S., however, is a democracy, and Congress has imposed itself on the negotiation process, and while the final deal will not be presented to Congress for approval, it will be presented for review. Read more at Israel Hayom.
Yesterday, June 30th, was the deadline by which America and the other P5+1 nations were supposed to reach a deal with Iran to stop its nuclear weapons program. This was not the first such deadline. Yet once again, the deadline came and went without a deal.
Meanwhile, we continue to receive troubling reports from Geneva that the negotiations have largely consisted of Iran exploiting our government’s desperate desire for a deal to turn our red lines into green lights. As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu noted yesterday, “In the nuclear talks, to my regret, what we are seeing are Iran’s increasing demands, and the major powers’ concessions which are also increasing, in keeping with the Iranian pressure. This agreement is going from a bad agreement to a worse agreement, and is becoming worse by the day.”
If and when a deal is announced we will be quick to examine it. We will pray for the best. But if this deal is as bad as reports indicate, we will not be silent. We will speak out, and we will ask you to speak out with us. In particular, we will ask you to demand that your leaders in Congress vote down a bad deal. In the meantime, please stay tuned and stay in touch. We need you now more than ever.
Photo Credit- Noam Revkin-Fenton
Four Israelis were wounded on Monday night in a suspected Palestinian drive-by shooting attack near Shvut Rachel in Samaria.
One of the wounded was in serious condition following the shooting, while the three others were in moderate condition. All were transported to hospitals in Jerusalem for medical treatment.
The four were traveling in a car on Route 458 around 11 p.m. on Monday night when they were shot at from a passing vehicle. Read more at Israel Hayom.