Tag Archives: Nuclear Negotiations

Sen. Cotton: Iran War Would Only Take a Few Days

Says US Should ‘Pursue Military Strikes’

by Jason Ditz, April 08, 2015

Remember that big disastrous US war in the Middle East and how officials at the time were assuring us it’d only take a few days? Sen. Tom Cotton (R – AR) remembers how popular those quick easy wars were in theory, and is pushing for one again.

The target is obvious for those following Sen. Cotton’s career, he wants the US to “pursue military strikes” against Iran, a war he believes would only take a few days to win outright.

Sen. Cotton is citing the mostly forgotten December 1998 US war on Iraq as the model, saying the US won after several days of attacking Iraq for “disobeying Security Council resolutions.”

The reason the war is mostly forgotten is because it killed a couple thousand people, didn’t resolve anything, and was just a brief escalation amid sanctions that killed far, far more.

The US attacked Iraq falsely in 1998 over WMDs, then kept harping about it for four and a half more years until the 2003 invasion and occupation, which was similarly launched over false claims of WMDs. It hardly seems a model for anything, though Cotton is keen for Obama to follow the example of Bill Clinton and kill a couple thousand people in Iran just to show how serious the US is.

Obama Defends Iran Nuclear Deal, Responds To Criticism From Israel

On Monday, President Obama defended the framework of the deal surrounding Iran’s nuclear program that was reached on Thursday between the United States, Iran, and five other major powers: China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. He also addressed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s concerns regarding how forming a nuclear deal with Iran will affect Israel.

In an interview with Steve Inskeep, the host of NPR’s Morning Edition, Obama defended his pending deal with Iran, saying that he believes it is “the right thing to do for the United States, for our allies in the region and for world peace regardless of the nature of the Iranian regime.”

Obama said that his goal when he came into office was to “make sure that Iran did not get a nuclear weapon and thereby trigger a nuclear arms race in the most volatile part of the world.” He explained that while ideally Iran would see sanctions reduced and would start focusing on its economy, it has provided assurance that it is “peaceful in nature” thus far.

We’re now in a position where Iran has agreed to unprecedented inspections and verifications of its program, providing assurances that it is peaceful in nature,” Obama said. “You have them rolling back a number of pathways that they currently have available to break out and get a nuclear weapon. You have assurances that their stockpile of highly enriched uranium remains in a place where they cannot create a nuclear weapon.”

Obama noted that, if the deal is agreed to, the US is “purchasing for 13, 14, 15 years assurances that the breakout is at least a year,” meaning that if Iran decides to break the deal, the US will have over a year to respond.

It’s a hard argument to make that we’re better off right now having almost no breakout period, no insight, and letting them rush towards a bomb, than saying, over the course of 15 years, we have very clear assurances that they’re not going to do anything,” Obama said.

Regarding how nuclear negotiations with Iran have affected Israel, Obama said that while the idea of pushing Iran to recognize Israel is not unreasonable, he doesn’t feel that applying more pressure will lead to a better deal, which he said is the logic Netanyahu has put forth.

So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran, and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime,” Obama said. “But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.”

Obama went on to say that he thinks it is “important to recognize that there are a whole host of countries in the Middle East that don’t yet recognize Israel,” and that the most important thing for Israel to keep in mind is that they have America, “the world’s most powerful country” to defend them.

While the White House is working to convince US lawmakers to accept the framework of the deal, Reuters noted that Iran’s negotiators have interpreted the outline differently, and have said, “Sanctions would be lifted immediately once an accord is signed.”

During a press conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that sanctions would not be lifted immediately, and that there would have to be “sustained compliance” from Iran.

It has never been our position that all of the sanctions against Iran should be removed from day one,” Earnest said. “That is their position, but it’s not one that we agree with.”


Boehner And Netanyahu Deny Report That Israel Spied On US-Iran Nuclear Negotiations

Following a report that claimed Israel spied on nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran, and then gave the stolen classified information to Congressional Republicans, both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US House Speaker John Boehner have denied the allegations.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that according to both current and former senior White House officials, Israel has been spying on private nuclear negotiations between Washington, Tehran and other major powers.

According to the anonymous officials, the spying operation, which included “information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe,” was part of Israel’s larger campaign to “penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal.”

The officials told the Wall Street Journal that the White House wasn’t as concerned about the fact that Israel spied on the negotiations, as it was about the fact that Israel then shared the stolen classified information with US lawmakers, in order to “drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program.”

On Tuesday, Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, told WND that the Prime Minister “unequivocally and totally” denies the allegations. “This is a story by uncited, anonymous sources and doesn’t have an ounce of truth to it,” Regev said.

Boehner, who was responsible for breaking protocol and inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress on March 3 about nuclear negotiations with Iran without first notifying the White House, is expected to visit Israel at the end of March on a Republican congressional delegation. He addressed the report on Tuesday, and said that he was “baffled” by it.

Frankly I was a bit shocked, because, there was no information revealed to me whatsoever.” Boehner said. “I’m not sure what the information was, but I’m baffled by it.