Not only do nearly half of all Israelis fear that Iran could attack their nation. Only 22% trust President Obama with their security. This at a time when the United States and other Western nations are fast approaching a deadline to come to an agreement with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The conclusions the result of a Geocartography Institute poll.Click here to read the story.
WHITE HOUSE – Five former members of President Obama’s inner circle of Iran advisers have written an open letter warning that a pending deal to stem Iran’s nuclear program “may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement” and laying out a series of minimum requirements that Iran must agree to in coming days for them to support a final deal.
Several of the officials said concern was that Obama’s negotiators were headed to concessions that would weaken international inspection of Iran’s facilities, back away from forcing Tehran to reveal its suspected past work on weapons and allow Iranian R&D that would put it on course to resuming intensive production once the accord expires.
A senior admininstration official said the letter “in large part tracks with the U.S. negotiating position inside the negotiating room.” Inside the White House of late, there’s been what one senior official called “vigorous debate” over the risks of walking away v. accepting a deal whose specifics leave some uncomfortable.
The deadline for the nuclear deal is June 30 but it’s expected to slip. Secretary of State John Kerry leaves to rejoin the talks in Vienna Friday.
This is an interesting tactic by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Who is still trying to stop what he thinks is a bad deal from being inked between the West and Iran over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. There is pressure on Israel, which has never publicly admitted having a nuclear weapons program, to ratify a treaty which would ban nuclear testing. Netanyahu says, Israel’s condition for signing that treaty: Iran’s recognition of the Jewish state. Click here to read the story.
The six world powers want Iran to commit to a verifiable halt of at least 10 years on sensitive nuclear development work as part of a landmark atomic deal they aim to reach by June 30. But: “Freezing Iran’s research and development (R&D) for a long time like 10 or 12 years is not acceptable,” Ayatollah Khameini said in a speech broadcast live Tuesday.
The world powers are offering in exchange relief from sanctions that have crippled the oil exporter’s economy. Disputes over how much transparency Iran should offer to ease suspicions that it’s covertly sought to develop nuclear bombs and the timing and pace of relief from sanctions on Tehran, have been two major sticking points to the final deal.
The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been trying to investigate Western allegations that Iran has been working on designing a nuclear warhead. Iran says that its nuclear program is peaceful and that it’s working with the IAEA to clear up any suspicions. Khameini said: “Inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines.” Complicating things, Iran’s parliament passed a bill Tuesday banning access for IAEA inspectors to its military sites and scientists. The IAEA has complained of lack of access.
A senior French official said Tuesday that the verification procedures and the authorization to access the military sites were the “main difficulty” to clinch a deal. Khameini accused the U.S. of wanting to wipe out Iran’s nuclear industry. “America is after destroying our nuclear industry altogether,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is accusing world powers of stepping up concessions to Iran to enable a nuclear deal by June 30 even as Iran balks at demands for heightened UN inspections. He didn’t offer further details
Netahyahu’s energy minister and point-man on the talks, Yuval Steinitz, said it appeared that world powers were prepared to accommodate Tehran’s resistance to expanded, short-order UN nuclear inspections and demand to continue R&D of uranium centrifuges that make nuclear fuel.
Saturday, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said his country, in the name of protecting state secrets, could reject stepped-up inspections – even at the cost of missing the deadline. But in a televised address Sunday, Rouhani played up the benefits of reaching a deal that would end the hardship of sanctions.
On a visit to Israel last week, chairman of the joint chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey sought to reassure Israel of “unshakable” U.S. military support. Dempsey said long-term prospects were “far better” with an Iran that was not a nuclear weapons power. The U.S. says it stands by the end-of-the-month deadline, but other officials have said the date might be missed.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who was released from hospital Friday, said he would be “totally engaged” with the nuclear talks despite his broken leg from a cycling accident.
The talks were in secret. Yet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted repeatedly that any impending deal with Iran would result in a threat to his country and the region. Was he bluffing? Guessing? Or did he know? And if he knew, how did he know?
We may now have the answer to those questions. “No,” “no,” “yes,” and …
The answer to the third question could be a virus. A computer virus. Which let the Israelis listen in to conversations at the hotel where talks were being held. Click here to read the story.
The aren’t exactly friends. But they share a common concern. Iran. That’s why Israel and Saudi Arabia have been holding secret talks to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. And what to do about it. That according to Dore Gold who Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tapped to be director general of Israel’s foreign ministry.
Contrary to the Obama administration’s claims that Iran has frozen its nuclear program, international inspectors discovered recently that the Islamic Republic’s stockpile of nuclear fuel has increased by about 20 percentover the course of the last 18 months, The New York Times is reporting on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will hold talks Saturday in Geneva as efforts intensify to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal. U.S. chief negotiator Wendy Sherman will leave State when negotiations are finished.
France is threatening to oppose a deal if it doesn’t include access to military sites in Iran, something that some Iranian officials say they won’t allow.
In an interview for the American magazine “The Atlantic” today (Thursday), US President Barack Obama addressed Israel’s concerns from the developing agreement. “20 years from now, I’m still going to be around, God willing. If Iran has a nuclear weapon, it’s my name on this,” Obama stated.