The “Get Out of Jail Free” Cards In The Iran Deal

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an opinion piece by Hooman Bakhtiar about the Iranian nuclear deal. Mr. Bakhtiar is an Iranian-American writer in Washington, D.C.

The article begins:

Congress is debating whether the nuclear agreement between Iran and the great powers goes far enough to curb Tehran’s illicit activities. But equally deserving of scrutiny are the nefarious characters whose names would be removed under the deal from Western sanctions lists.

Consider Anis Naccache, the Lebanese hitman who attempted to assassinate my great uncle Shapour Bakhtiar, Iran’s last prime minister under the shah. On a sweltering July day in 1980, a hit squad of five Lebanese, Iranian and Palestinian assassins led by Mr. Naccache approached a building in the Paris suburb of Neuilly. They posed as journalists, ostensibly to interview Bakhtiar, who had arrived in Paris a year earlier to launch a political campaign against the Islamic Republic before Ayatollah Khomeini’s nascent regime could entrench itself.

The article goes on to detain some of Mr. Naccache’s other terrorist activities–he was a lieutenant of Carlos the Jackal, he lead a hostage taking of 11 OPEC oil ministers in Vienna. In the failed assassination attempt of Shapour Bakhtiar, Mr. Naccache killed a police officer posted in the building and an elderly French woman who lived in the building. He was convicted of murder and received a life sentence. Mr. Naccache was released by the French in 1990 after the ‘coincidental’ release of 16 French hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The saga continues:

In 2008 the European Union determined that Mr. Naccache was linked to Iran’s nuclear-proliferation activities—identifying his association with the same Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal firm in its designation. Brussels added him to a sanctions list due to his alleged role in Iran’s nuclear program, not his terrorist past.

Now Mr. Naccache is set to be removed from the EU sanctions list under the nuclear deal. Joining him will be numerous other Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps leaders responsible for the deaths of many Iranian dissidents, U.S. servicemen in Iraq and civilians in Syria and elsewhere.

In their determination to cut a nuclear deal with Tehran, Washington and Brussels are rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims of Iranian terror. It is unclear how much, if any, due diligence has been conducted on the names that the mullahs insisted be removed from sanctions lists. An EU spokeswoman declined to comment on the delisting beyond confirming Mr. Naccache’s alleged illicit nuclear activities as the basis of the designation and his association with Bazargani Tejarat Tavanmand Saccal.

This is the deal President Obama is asking Congress to approve.

Good News–If He’s Right

According to an article posted today in the Washington Free Beacon, former Senator Joe Lieberman has stated that he believes that there is enough Democrat opposition to the nuclear treaty with Iran to override a presidential veto if the Senate does not approve the treaty and the President vetoes their disapproval. (Just for the record, that is not the way the U.S. Constitution is supposed to work, but it seems as if no one is paying attention to the U.S. Constitution at this point).

The article reports:

Lieberman said he knew members of Congress would take this vote seriously and consider its ramifications. The deal, which relieves sanctions and does not provide “anytime, anywhere” inspections of suspected nuclear activity, paves the way for the rogue regime to become a nuclear power and continue to fund terrorism worldwide.

“They know that they voted for sanctions … Strong bipartisan majorities for a single reason—that economic sanctions on Iran would only come off if Iran’s nuclear weapons program ended,” Lieberman said. “This agreement does the opposite. Take the sanctions off, and after a period of years, they get to be a nuclear power.”

Lieberman said the U.S. “conceded and conceded and conceded” to the Iranians in the agreement.

“I can’t think of a vote that I cast, apart from the ones deploying American troops into combat, that was as important as this agreement is to the future security of the United States,” Lieberman said.

Former Senator Lieberman is a good example of a principled Democrat. Although I disagree with him on many issues, he seemed to be a man of integrity who tried to do the right thing for America. It is a shame that the Democrats did not support him because he voted his conscience while he was in the Senate rather than follow the party line. I wish the Democrats had more men like him.

Something Is Wrong With This Picture

PJ Media today posted an article by Roger Simon about an open letter to President Obama written by the nephew of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Please follow the link above to read the entire letter, but here are some excerpts:

Dear Mr. President

I am presenting this open letter as one of the serious opponents of the Islamic republic of Iran on behalf of the like-minded opposition groups and myself. Because of my knowledge of this regime, especially of Ali Khamenei who is my uncle (my mother’s brother), I see it as my duty to inform you about this regime and the issue of nuclear negotiations with the Islamic regime of Iran.

Let me at first inform you that the regime that falsely calls itself a republic came to power in 1979 by deceiving Iranian people and the world through provoking Iranian people against the regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and gaining the support of the world community.

Obviously Dr.Mahmoud Moradkhani (the author of this letter is not a supporter of the current Iranian regime).

He also states:

We can find a historical example of this kind of deception prior to the Second World War. Hitler manipulated and deceived German people and European countries and the hesitation in addressing the problem with Hitler led to a great disaster.

Due to the changes in time, the domain of the disaster might become limited now but breach of human rights is the same, regardless of the number of people who become victimized in the process.

Ali Khamenei and his collaborators know very well that they will never become a nuclear power. They certainly do not have the national interest of Iranian in their mind; they just use the nuclear issue to bully the countries in the region and export their revolution and middle-aged culture to other countries. Obviously, you and European countries do not give the Islamic regime any concession unless you are certain that they comply with the agreement. The Islamic regime of Iran will certainly prolong the verification period the same way that they have delayed and prolonged the nuclear talks. It is in this period that the wounded regime will retaliate with its destructive policies.

The countless breaches of human rights violations, spreading of Islamic fundamentalism, intervention and creating crisis in the Middle East are all unacceptable and contrary to democratic and humane beliefs of yours and ours.

I would love to know why he believes that Iran will never become a nuclear power. I expect that Israel will not allow that to happen, but I am not sure that is what he means.

What we currently have in the Middle East is an all-out war between the Sunnis (led by Saudi Arabia) and the Shiites (led by Iran). The nuclear deal reached with Iran by the Obama Administration in its current form would simply fund the Shiite effort in that war. That is one of many reasons why this treaty must be kept from taking effect.

Today In Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be speaking before a joint session of Congress this morning. Today’s Wall Street Journal had two very good articles that provide context for his speech.

Bret Stephens posted an article entitled, “Israel and the Democrats,” and Chris Steward posted an article entitled, “In What Way Is Iran A Reliable Negotiating Partner?

Bret Stephens reminds us that the Democrat party has traditionally supported the nation of Israel. He points out that the Democrat Party is on the cusp of abandoning the state of Israel.

The article reports:

But that party is evaporating. A 2014 Pew survey found that just 39% of liberal Democrats are more sympathetic to Israel than they are to the Palestinians. That compares with 77% of conservative Republicans. During last summer’s war in Gaza, Pew found liberals about as likely to blame Israel as they were to blame Hamas for the violence.

That means the GOP is now the engine, the Democrats at best a wheel, in U.S. support for Israel. The Obama administration is the kill switch. Over the weekend, a defensive White House put out a statement noting the various ways it has supported Israel. It highlighted the 1985 U.S.-Israel free-trade agreement and a military assistance package concluded in 2007. When Barack Obama must cite the accomplishments of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush as evidence of his pro-Israel bona fides, you know there is a problem.

…Yet the calendar chiefly dictating the timing of Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was set by John Kerry , not John Boehner , when the secretary of state decided that the U.S. and Iran would have to conclude a framework deal by the end of this month. Mr. Netanyahu is only guilty of wanting to speak to Congress before it is handed a diplomatic fait accompli that amounts to a serial betrayal of every promise Mr. Obama ever made to Israel.

Bret Stephens goes on to list the betrayals of Israel by the Obama Administration. Please follow the link above to read the entire article.

Chris Steward reminds us of the history of America’s relationship with Iran and Iran’s intentions and actions toward western civilization.

He points out:

Iran is a state sponsor of terror and has been officially listed as such for more than 30 years. It has developed an extensive military-industrial complex, the Defense Industries Organization, which is capable of supplying all of its own military equipment, weapons and ammunition. With this capability, Iran has become the primary supplier of weapons to two other state sponsors of terror, Sudan and Syria, as well as the primary sponsor of other foreign terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah, Hamas and numerous Shiite militias in Iraq. With Iran’s help, Hezbollah has stockpiled about 60,000 surface-to-surface rockets in Lebanon while Hamas has stockpiled about 10,000 surface-to-surface rockets in Gaza, all for the stated purpose of wiping Israel off the face of the earth.

Tehran’s regime suppresses internal dissent and has executed tens of thousands of its own citizens for opposing the regime. It is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of U.S. military personnel in Iraq through improvised explosive devices supplied to Shiite militias in the past decade. Iran counts as close allies Russia, China and North Korea, which team with the regime in developing ballistic missiles and nuclear capabilities.

Iran is not just a problem for the Middle East. In South and Central America it has engaged in money laundering, drug and arms trafficking, counterfeiting, promoting jihad, and plotting terrorist attacks.

Why in the world are we negotiating with these people? And why in the world are we condemning Israel for telling the truth about the futility of these negotiations?