Innovation

Undoing Iran Sanctions

From Power Line Blog – The AP has just broken the story by Bradley Klapper and Matt Lee regarding the prospective unraveling of the sanctions regime in its entirety. Their story is “US finds peeling back the Iran sanctions onion no easy task.” It’s an important story and Omri Ceren has written to comment on it as follows:

There’s a lot going on in this piece, it’s 1,100 words, and it gets highly technical very early. But it’s also functionally an exposé of how the Obama administration is going to shred the entire sanctions regime despite having promised lawmakers the exact opposite, and so the story will rightly be driving the discussion for the next couple of days at least.

Background — Throughout the P5+1 negotiations, but especially since Lausanne, the Obama administration has declared to lawmakers and reporters that the final deal will only lift nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. The talking point was a huge part of their immediate post-Lausanne media strategy. The April 2 factsheet they circulated stated “U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.” Since then the assurance has become even more central to their media strategy. It’s the overarching argument they use to respond to Congressional and Arab worries that the nuclear deal will empower Iran to become a regional hegemon capable of threatening American national interests and global security. The precise wording differs from presser to presser and interview to interview, but it’s usually something like ‘our problems with Iran go way beyond the nuclear issue, and in the aftermath of a deal we will continue to pressure them on human rights, terrorism, their conventional military activities, and so on.’

AP scoop #1 – admin is going to roll back non-nuclear sanctions — The lede is blunt: “the Obama administration may have to backtrack on its promise that it will suspend only nuclear-related economic sanctions.” The story reveals that sanctions that were imposed on Iran to block illicit finance and ballistic missile development will also be rolled back. 23 out of 24 currently sanctioned Iranian banks will be delisted, including the staggeringly crucial Central Bank of Iran. There’s no way to credibly spin delisting the CBI as nuclear-related relief. The CBI is government owned and – as the AP article notes – was designated as a primary money laundering concern because the Iranians use it for financing terrorism, ballistic missile research, and campaigns aimed at bolstering the Assad regime in Syria. Secondary sanctions that prevent other countries from flooding Iran with cash will also be removed.

The result, per the article, will make “it easier for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its police, intelligence services and paramilitary groups to do business.” It’s a 180 degree reversal of years of administration assurances that the Iranians would only get nuclear-related relief, and that sanctions relating to Iran’s non-nuclear military and terror-related activities would remain. In a broader context, it means the final deal will give Iran hundreds of billions of dollars to do what they want, while dropping restrictions might have prevented them from using the money to fund their ballistic missile program, global terror activities, or regional proxy wars.

Continue reading at Power Line.

WSJ Editorial: Iran’s Uranium Hoard

The Wall Street Journal has published an important editorial discussing Iran’s cheating on its nuclear commitments, and the Obama administration’s reaction to the news, Here are the key elements.

1. What we’ve learned:

Since Iran agreed in late 2013 to negotiate limits on its nuclear ambitions, the Obama Administration has boasted that its diplomacy has “frozen” Iran’s progress, particularly the regime’s stockpile of enriched uranium. Turns out this isn’t true.

2. The details:

Iran has until the end of June to convert the remaining 3,800 kilos into oxide if it’s to honor the terms of the deal. Don’t hold your breath. The Iranians claim that their efforts to oxidize the uranium have been slowed by technical snafus and fouled by sabotage. Sabotage by whom? It makes no sense for the West to stymie an attempt to reduce Iran’s stockpile of weapons-usable uranium.

 

A likelier explanation is that Iran never intended to honor the interim agreement. Now it can use its additional uranium stockpile either to drive a harder bargain as nuclear negotiations approach their June 30 deadline—or drive harder toward a bomb. [emphasis added]

3. The Obama administration’s reaction:

Meantime, the U.S. State Department continues to insist that Iran has met its nuclear commitments under the interim agreement. That follows an Administration pattern of trying to salvage its nuclear diplomacy—not only with Iran but also with Russia—by ignoring or minimizing violations of previous agreements.

Read the entire piece by clicking here.

Kasim went to Israel an anti-Semite and returned a Zionist and now works for CUFI… a must read story

kasim oneFor several years there has existed an exceptional level of anti-Semitism in some pockets of the world’s Muslim community. While growing up, one of the adherents to this narrative was a young British Muslim of Pakistani descent named Kasim Hafeez.

So ingrained was Kasim’s anti-Western attitude, that he spent his university years leading protests against Israel and the West, and eventually decided that violent Jihad was the only path for him. But the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had other plans for Kasim. Before acting on his Jihadist worldview, Kasim came across a book, “The Case for Israel” by Alan Dershowitz.

After spending months trying and failing to prove false the “lies” found in Dershowitz’s book, Kasim decided to go to Israel and see the country for himself. When he arrived at Ben-Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, he told the Israeli security officers precisely why he had come. Nonetheless, to Kasim’s amazement, he was granted entry into the Jewish state.

As he walked the streets of Jerusalem, he sought out his Islamic brothers and sisters, asking them of their experience living in the country he had been raised to hate but they did not hate Israel. He searched for the separate drinking fountains and bathrooms he had been led to believe existed in the “Apartheid state of Israel” but he found none. Instead he found an open and vibrant society where everyone is free to speak, worship, and live as they see fit.

Kasim went to Israel an anti-Semite and returned a Zionist. Everything he had been taught about the Jewish state was a lie. Instead of finding Israel detestable, he fell in love with the land and the people. And the passion that once drove Kasim to lead anti-Israel rallies at his university, now compelled him to stand up and speak up for Israel.

As a result, Kasim Hafeez has joined the Christians United for Israel team. He travels across the country speaking to those who believe the same lies he once believed. Last month, he traveled across the western US speaking at events in Idaho, New Mexico, California, Nevada and Utah and shared his miraculously transforming journey from anti-Semitism to Zionism.

CUFI letter the Daily Beast editors refuse to acknowledge

The following is a letter-to-the-editor submitted more than two weeks ago to the Daily Beast. Despite repeated efforts to reach them, the Daily Beast has neither responded to our emails nor have they published the letter. CUFI has always accorded the Daily Beast every courtesy; their failure to reciprocate is unfortunate, and as a result CUFI will no longer accommodate the outlet.  

To The Editor:

Re: “Meet Bibi’s New Tribulation-Courting, Jew-Converting, Demon-Exorcising American Allies

It was unfortunate to see the Daily Beast run Rachel Tabachnick’s latest duplicitous attack on Christian Zionism. Tabachnick has long demonized Christian supporters of Israel; however her past smear campaigns have been ineffective because even a modicum of scrutiny reveals that her assertions are simply untrue.

This may explain why Tabachnick, once so passionately dedicated to exposing the (long-debunked) end times motivations of traditional Christian Zionists, now labels such beliefs “passive,” and has chosen to create a whole new Christian oriented conspiracy theory. However, just as before, even a modicum of scrutiny reveals her dishonesty.

Tabachnick has essentially shifted gears away from the argument that Christian Zionists are bad because of their eschatology, to the (far easier to digest) argument that Christian Zionists are bad because they are trying to convert Jews.

Using a series of tenuous connections (at best), peppered with a bit of guilt-by-association, Tabachnick cooks up the conspiracy theory that the theological movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is out to convert Jews and that this is significant because “the NAR has steadily taken over the world of Christian Zionism;” an assertion for which she offers no real evidence, and which is of course news to the world of Christian Zionism.

The linchpin of her connection between Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and NAR is that “several CUFI directors, past and present, are part of the NAR leadership,” which is odd considering the NAR has no formal leadership and that not one alleged NAR leader Tabachnick  names is in any way involved in CUFI. Moreover, the first rule adopted by CUFI was that it would be a non-conversionary organization (a rule, even CUFI’s detractors have acknowledged, we abide).

There are of course other errors in her piece, but they aren’t worth our time – if past is prologue, once the NAR conspiracy theory falls flat, Tabachnick will be onto something else. Unfortunately, Tabachnick seems to believe that all Christian Zionists, by virtue of their faith, are anti-Semites. I hope the Daily Beast’s readers will recognize that believing Jesus is the Messiah does not make you an anti-Semite, it makes you a Christian; and to see the two terms as interchangeable, makes you a bigot.

By Ari Morgenstern, Communications Director for Christians United for Israel.