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The Iran Nuclear Deal Continues to Unravel

The steady drip of disturbing revelations about President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement continues unabated. On Monday, the Associated Press reported that key restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment activities will significantly ease after ten years, long before those restrictions expire after 15 years.

The AP acquired a confidential document, leaked by an anonymous diplomat involved in the Iran nuclear issue, which it described as an add-on agreement in the form of a declaration submitted by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The document, the Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action, details Iran’s plans for expanding its enrichment activities and makes it clear that some of the most restrictive provisions of the nuclear agreement are relaxed after only ten years, although they will function as more permissive constraints for up to 15 years.

The published text of the nuclear agreement was vague on the exact timing of what happens to Iran’s uranium enrichment program after ten years.

But the new document indicates that after ten years, Iran plans to start replacing its current centrifuges with thousands of more advanced models that would be up to five times more efficient than the 5,060 centrifuges that it is allowed to operate currently under the agreement.

This concession could allow Tehran to enrich at more than twice the rate that it is now doing, even if the total number of operating centrifuges are reduced. This is a major concern because if the enrichment rate doubles, the time Tehran would need to stage a nuclear breakout would be reduced from the 12 months promised by the Obama administration to six months or less, much earlier than the administration had advertised when it was trying to sell the nuclear deal.

Fred Fleitz, a veteran analyst who has monitored Iran’s nuclear program for many years at the CIA, State Department, House Intelligence Committee, and Center for Security Policy, warned that although the permissive nature of the agreement was not news:

What is news is that the Obama administration is a party to another secret side deal to the [Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action] that explicitly recognizes Iran’s plan to greatly expand its uranium-enrichment program. Other secret side deals include one that allows Iran to inspect itself on possible nuclear-weapons-related work and another that possibly weakened IAEA reporting on Iran’s nuclear program.

The IAEA secret side deal that allowed Iranian personnel to inspect a suspected nuclear research site was exposed last year only after Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., traveled to IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria to ask questions about the nuclear agreement.

Cotton, a leading congressional opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, charged that the latest news about Iran’s declaration to the IAEA demonstrated that “the administration misled the American people about Iran.”

State Department spokesman Mark Toner denied that the new document was “secret” since it was known to the countries negotiating the deal, but he acknowledged that the details had been kept away from the public.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was much more enthusiastic about the newly revealed document. Yesterday, he crowed that it was created by Iran’s “negotiators and industry experts” and was a “matter of pride.”

Indeed, he should be proud. The document outlines how Iran plans to escalate its uranium enrichment efforts with the blessing of the Obama administration until it reaches the point where a nuclear breakout would require only a few weeks of work. (For more from the author of “The Iran Nuclear Deal Continues to Unravel” please click HERE)

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Giuliani Confirms Trump Plans to Keep Iran Deal

Rather than choke off a dangerous and lawless jihadist regime as they should, Americans are going to be stuck negotiating with terrorists for at least four more years, according to a Trump surrogate’s speech in Cleveland Monday night.

Following a rant about jihadist terrorism during a convention night themed “Make America Safe Again,” former New York mayor and Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani delved into the future of the Iran Nuclear Deal in a hypothetical Trump administration.

“To defeat Islamic extremist terrorism we must put them on defense,” said Giuliani during his rambling, largely-unhinged convention speech. “This includes undoing one of the worst deals America ever made – Obama’s Nuclear Agreement with Iran that will eventually let them become a nuclear power and put billions of dollars back into a country that the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism.”

“We must commit ourselves to unconditional victory against” jihadists, said Giuliani.

Sounds great, so I guess that means we’re scrapping it finally? Well, no.

Giuliani went on to promise that “Donald Trump will make sure that any agreement with Iran meets the original goals of the U.N. and our allies, and that is a non-nuclear Iran.”

The prospect of convincing the Mullahs to beat their heavy water reactors into plowshares by employing “The Art of the Deal,” may seem appealing, but let’s look at this open-eyed.

At least the speech, paired with similar promises from the campaign, at least provides some clarity to the confusion sown by months of inconsistent rhetoric from team Trump regarding deal. While the candidate has always been against the deal in some form or fashion, his approach to handling the international security disaster has vacillated from renegotiation to scrapping back and finally back to renegotiation.

Initially, in September, Trump said he would simply renegotiate the deal, which was ushered through the Senate by Republican leadership last summer.

“If we have to wait until the next president is sworn in to revisit this nuclear weapons agreement, then the next president better be someone who knows how to negotiate,” he said in an op-ed at USA Today. “When I am elected president, I will renegotiate with Iran — right after I enable the immediate release of our American prisoners and ask Congress to impose new sanctions that stop Iran from having the ability to sponsor terrorism around the world.”

By the time the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference rolled around in March, there was a brief and shining season where Trump told the crowd that his “number one priority” was to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran,” saying that it was “catastrophic for Israel—for America, for the whole Middle East.”

However, as of a couple of weeks ago, it seems that Trump is back to keeping the deal.

In an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation, top Trump foreign policy adviser Walid Phares said that Trump is likely going to keep the deal in some form, saying “he’s not going to get rid of an agreement that has the institutional signature of the United States.”

“He’s said, so far that he doesn’t like this deal and that it was poorly negotiated,” Phares continued. “Once elected, he’s going to renegotiate it after talking through it with his advisers.”

“[He] is not going to implement it as is, he is going to revise it after negotiating one on one with Iran or with a series of allies.”

The renegotiation stance was, of course, echoed by Giuliani’s immediate pivot to talking about future deals after saying that the current agreement needs to be scrapped.

The problem with this, Andrew C. McCarthy explains at National Review, is that there should be no deal with the regime in the first place:

The JCPOA debacle is the result of being at the negotiating table in the first place. We gave the store away simply by sitting down, absent any conditions or changes in behavior, with a committed enemy of the United States, the world’s prime state sponsor of terrorism, while it was actively fueling anti-American jihadists, calling for “Death to America,” holding American hostages, threatening the annihilation of Israel, persecuting its own people, and developing nuclear power and ballistic missiles in violation of international law … Iran policy should not be about how to get a better deal. It should not even be about nuclear weapons — not primarily. The U.S. strategy on Iran should aim to suffocate the jihadist regime.

Faced with a Trump/Clinton dichotomy, America is going to be back at the table with Tehran once again IF WE’RE LUCKY. But even if a President Trump works out the most amazing, most unbelievable deal that you wouldn’t even believe, America is just going to continue with the Obama Doctrine tendency of opening doors to totalitarian, anti-American regimes who don’t even deserve the diplomatic time of day.

Given the choice between a liberal internationalist who helped lay the groundworks for the Iran Deal and a presumptive Republican nominee who appears to have finally landed at renegotiating it now that he’s won the primary, it looks like we’re stuck with the Mullahs, folks. (For more from the author of “Giuliani Confirms Trump Plans to Keep Iran Deal” please click HERE)

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U.S. MARINE-KILLING HEZBOLLAH: All of Our Weapons and Rockets Come From Obama’s Buds in Iran

Hezbollah’s leader said on Friday that the Lebanese terrorist organization will not be harmed by U.S. sanctions since it is funded and armed directly by Iran, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who insisted that the Lebanese terrorist organization “will not be affected” by the recently imposed sanctions.

“As long as Iran has money, we have money… Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it,” he added.

Lebanon’s central bank ordered all financial institutions to cease dealings with Hezbollah and come into compliance with U.S. sanctions last month, which led Nasrallah to accuse central bank governor Riad Salameh of “yielding” to American pressure. A bomb exploded outside a Beirut bank earlier this month, only hours after an Iranian news agency issued a threat against institutions enforcing the law.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an expert on the Middle East, pointed out the significance of Nasrallah’s declaration in Al Arabiyah:

It has been long known to political observers that the Islamic Republic played a key role in giving birth to the Lebanese Shiite militant group in 1982. For over three decades, Iran’s financial, military, intelligence, logistical, and advisory assistances to Hezbollah have been well known. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its elite force, the Quds force, transformed Hezbollah to be one of Iran’s most important and powerful regional and international proxies.

Nevertheless, what highlights the significance of Nasrallah’s speech is the fact that this is the first time in which he is announcing and publicly confirming that his group is receiving full monetary and arms support from the Iranian government.

Lebanese MP Saad Hariri criticized Hezbollah following Nasrallah’s acknowledgement, saying, “this admission shows Hezbollah follows Iran par excellence.” Hariri’s father Rafic, the former prime minister of Lebanon, was assassinated in 2004. A United Nations investigation implicated Hezbollah in the killing.

Nasrallah’s admission was made in the course of a speech marking 40 days since the death of Hezbollah commander Mustafa Badreddine. After Badreddine’s death, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif eulogized the explosives expert, who was implicated in the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 305 people.

Nasrallah’s speech seems to confirm an assurance given to him last August by Zarif that the nuclear deal presented “a historic opportunity” to confront Israel. Iran recently announced that its defense spending would increase by 90% in the coming year.

The comments also call into question assurances made by Secretary of State John Kerry last year that the U.S. would ensure that Iran could not arm Hezbollah, despite the lifting of nuclear sanctions against Tehran. “Our primary embargo is still in place,” Kerry said at a Senate hearing last year. “We are still sanctioning them. And, I might add, for those things that we may want to deal with because of their behavior, for instance, Hezbollah, there is a UN resolution, 1701, the prevents the transfer of any weapons to Hezbollah. That will continue and what we need to do is make sure that we’re enforcing it.” (For more from the author of “U.S. MARINE-KILLING HEZBOLLAH: All of Our Weapons and Rockets Come From Obama’s Buds in Iran” please click HERE)

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Obama’s Legacy Is Likely to Be Nuclear-Armed Iran

One year after the negotiation of the nuclear agreement, Iran continues to pursue the hostile policies that make it dangerous to the United States and its allies.

Iran persists in its attempts to: cheat on its nuclear nonproliferation obligations, export terrorism, threaten U.S. allies, provoke confrontations with U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, flout United Nations Security Council resolutions by staging provocative missile tests, and trumpet its contemptuous hostility to the United States.

Yet, President Barack Obama’s administration, hoping to lock in a nuclear deal that it sees as a positive legacy, is bending over backward to accommodate Tehran’s demands for greater economic rewards through sanctions relief over and above that required by the nuclear agreement.

Iran’s long record of nuclear cheating, current hostile behavior, and continued truculence make it increasingly clear that this administration’s legacy is likely to be a nuclear-armed Iran.

Last week, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency revealed that Iran has continued its clandestine efforts to procure illicit nuclear and ballistic missile technology and equipment from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”

To make matters worse, another German intelligence report indicated that the Iranians not only were continuing their efforts to acquire nuclear technology after the agreement was signed, but they also sought items that could be used to make illegal chemical and biological weapons.

The intelligence report from the state of Rhineland-Palatinate’s intelligence agency, the equivalent of an FBI field office, stated that Iran aggressively targeted German companies whose equipment could be used “for atomic, biological, and chemical weapons in a war.”

Two German intelligence officials subsequently confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the Iranian procurement efforts continued this year and involved front companies operating from the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and China, and to a lesser extent from Turkmenistan and Iraq.

The independent Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security reported last week that many Iranian entities previously sanctioned for acquiring illicit nuclear technologies are now actively obtaining goods in China:

This uptick in activity in China corresponds to a reduced emphasis on enforcement in the United States over alleged illegal Iranian procurement activities. During the last two years, the Obama administration has inhibited federal investigations and prosecutions of alleged Iranian illegal procurement efforts. The stated reason has been concern over the impact on the Iran nuclear deal.

In other words, the administration has prioritized preserving the nuclear deal over enforcing it. Iran, therefore, sees little risk in continued nuclear smuggling efforts and may be emboldened in other areas as well.

David Albright and Andrea Stricker of the Institute for Science and International Security also reported on July 7 that Iran tried to buy tons of carbon fiber, which is a controlled material needed for building advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment, from an undisclosed country. They warned that this attempt, which came after the implementation of the nuclear agreement in January, raises concerns over whether Iran intends to abide by its nuclear commitments.

This disturbing news comes after the revelation that International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors found man-made uranium particles at the Parchin military complex, where Iran is suspected to have conducted nuclear weapons-related tests.

Meanwhile, Iran’s theocratic dictatorship has made it clear that the nuclear agreement will not alter its hostility to the United States or ease its malign policies toward its neighbors.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which controls Tehran’s nuclear program and ballistic missile force, has repeatedly challenged U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf since the nuclear agreement was reached last year.

IRGC vessels launched rockets within 1,500 yards of the carrier Harry S. Truman near the Strait of Hormuz in late December, flew drones over U.S. warships, and detained and humiliated 10 American sailors in January.

On Monday, IRGC gunboats swarmed dangerously close to a U.S. Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz that was carrying Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of the U.S. Central Command. The Wall Street Journal reported that there were about 300 such naval incidents orchestrated by Iran against U.S. ships in 2015.

The IRGC launched a series of ballistic missiles in March, including two that were inscribed with the message “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew.

On July 1, the IRGC’s deputy commander stated that more than 100,000 missiles were ready to be launched at Israel from Lebanon and that Israel’s annihilation was imminent.

Tehran continues to issue threats against other U.S. allies, including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The regime continues to orchestrate chants of “Death to America!”

But these threats are continuously ignored by the Obama administration, which prefers to focus on promises of Iranian compliance with its nuclear commitments, which Tehran repeatedly has broken in the past.

Proof that Iran’s regime has not changed is the fact that it is still in the hostage-taking business. When the nuclear agreement came into effect on “implementation day,” Jan. 16, Iran recovered seven Iranians charged with sanctions violations in return for four innocent American captives held as bargaining chips. A fifth American, a student jailed for unknown reasons, also was released.

The hostage deal, which the administration maintains was negotiated separately from the nuclear deal, involved the release of Iranians justifiably imprisoned or charged with sanctions violations. This swap of prisoners for hostages rewarded Iran’s dictatorship for hostage-taking and is sure to encourage it to seize more captives.

In addition to furnishing leverage over the U.S. and other countries, the Tehran regime has arrested Iranians with dual citizenship and held them hostage on flimsy charges in order to intimidate political opponents and stifle reform efforts. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has constantly warned against the threat of political and cultural “infiltration” by the U.S. and its allies after the nuclear deal, spurring a wave of arrests and persecution of dual nationals.

A Great Deal for Iran

The administration’s diplomatic engagement without preconditions has enabled Iran’s dictatorship to have its cake and eat it too. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, but has been rewarded on the nuclear front for what could be temporary and easily reversible concessions.

In addition to allowing Tehran to recover roughly $100 billion in sanctions relief, the Obama White House has encouraged European allies to increase trade and investment in Iran, cleared the path for the sale of Boeing aircraft to Iran—which could be used for military purposes—and has pressed the Financial Action Task Force, an international body that enforces money laundering standards, to ease restrictions on Iran.

The administration has gone so far as to buy 32 tons of heavy water from Iran for $8.6 million, thereby subsidizing Iran’s nuclear program. The material was meant to be used in the Arak heavy water reactor for the production of plutonium, but that reactor is being redesigned.

Under the terms of the nuclear agreement, Iran is required to reduce its supply of heavy water, but Washington is not required to purchase it. By buying the heavy water, the United States risks legitimizing Iran as a nuclear supplier and rewarding it for past violations of its nuclear obligations. Iran instead could blend the heavy water down to regular water.

But the administration, now held hostage by its desperate need to salvage a “legacy,” has downplayed the risks involved in its heavy water subsidy, just as it has downplayed all the risks inherent in the nuclear deal from the very beginning.

The White House has succumbed to a form of diplomatic “Stockholm syndrome” in which the preservation of the nuclear deal with Iran is its top priority.

Even worse, U.S. officials have said that the administration is seeking to encourage Western trade with Iran to make it more difficult for future presidents to walk away from the agreement.

U.S. allies are increasingly skeptical of Washington’s ability and willingness to strictly enforce the agreement. As a British diplomat reportedly complained, “The United States is no longer feared by its enemies or respected by its friends.”

Hope for Change: An Unrealistic Strategy for Iran

The Iran nuclear agreement, which frontloads sanctions relief for Iran and removes key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program after 10 to 15 years, makes no sense unless the Obama administration believes that Iran’s tyrannical regime will be transformed in the immediate future.

Unfortunately, Obama sees himself as a transformative figure and presumes that his engagement with Iran and the nuclear agreement are transformative, rather than purely transactional, operations.

The administration has argued that the agreement will help Iranian “moderates” in a supposed power struggle with hard-liners. But the power struggle in Iran today pits hardliners against ultra hard-liners.

The genuine moderates that the administration should have engaged were purged by the regime in 2009 after massive public protests against Iran’s fraudulent elections. The Obama administration watched from the sidelines during that crisis, intent on unconditionally engaging the hard-liners who brutally suppressed the opposition green movement. As a result, there is a lot less hope for change in Iran today.

The nuclear deal that the administration negotiated with these hardliners is unlikely to last any longer than the nuclear agreement that the Clinton administration negotiated with North Korea in 1994.

It will be up to the next administration to clean up the disastrous Iranian nuclear legacy that it inherits from this one. (For more from the author of “Obama’s Legacy Is Likely to Be Nuclear-Armed Iran” please click HERE)

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If Mr. Obama Secretly Planned to Give Iran Nuclear Weapons, Exactly What Would He Be Doing Differently?

The Obama administration is encouraging companies to do business with Iran in order to make last year’s nuclear deal irreversible, The Wall Street Journal reported (Google link) Thursday.

Administration officials told the Journal that they were encouraging businesses to make agreements with Iran in order to make it harder for future administrations to unravel the deal, since that would then threaten American jobs. The push for opening up Iran to American business has been led by Secretary of State John Kerry, which has put him at odds with the Treasury Department, which enforces sanctions on Iran.

“We’re not going to stand in the way of permissible business activity with Iran,” a senior administration official told the Journal. “As long as Iran is meeting the terms of the deal, then we’re going to uphold our end of the bargain, and that is going to result in some additional business activity with Iran.”

The administration is also trying to improve Iran’s standing with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a watchdog organization that works to prevent illicit financial transactions. The FATF temporarily suspended countermeasures placed on Iran due to its its money laundering and terror financing on Friday after securing commitments from Iranian officials to clean up its practices. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew met with the governor of Iran’s central bank in April to discuss improving Iran’s standing with the FATF, senior administration officials told the Journal. The efforts to improve Iran’s standing with FATF, and thereby ease Iran’s path towards rejoining the global financial system, came despite the fact that, as a Treasury official noted in letters to Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) that were leaked to the Washington Free Beacon earlier this week, “Iran is a high-risk financial jurisdiction and has been designated as such by [FATF…and] is a Jurisdiction of Primary Money Laundering Concern….The concerns remain regarding Iran’s economy, such as transparency issues, corruption, and regulatory obstacles, have given businesses and banks pause when considering whether to engage with Iran.” The Treasury’s desire for Iran’s FATF rehabilitation, despite its statements to lawmakers (shortly before FATF suspended its countermeasures) that Iran remains a money-laundering concern, may raise suspicions that the government lobbied FATF to support Iran’s efforts in the same way that it has done for other international bodies.

The United States is also caught between opposing groups of allies regarding Iran’s desire to join the World Trade Organization (WTO). European allies have been pushing for Iran to join the WTO, while Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, oppose the membership bid. “The WTO accession process is based on consensus, and as of now, there are a number of countries that oppose appointing a chair to Iran’s working party on accession,” a State Department official told the Journal.

“Business diplomacy has been a core part of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy approach in engaging U.S. adversaries,” the Journal explained. “Mr. Obama sees the expansion of business transactions with the West in countries such as Iran and Cuba as the most promising means for solidifying the president’s policies there, his aides have said.” The controversial $25 billion sale of Boeing planes to Iran’s national carrier, Iran Air, is seen as “a boost” to these efforts.

Despite these efforts, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted a complaint earlier this month that they didn’t go far enough: “US didn’t fulfill key part of commitments; oil money isn’t paid to us, while we’ve done our part, 20% enrichment, Fordow & Arak are stopped.”

Sen. Chris Coons (D – Del.), criticized the administration earlier this week for its efforts to boost business with Iran, saying, “I don’t think it’s our job to act as the chamber of commerce for Tehran.” (For more from the author of “If Mr. Obama Secretly Planned to Give Iran Nuclear Weapons, Exactly What Would He Be Doing Differently?” please click HERE)

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Iran’s Unfriendly Skies

With the blessing of the Obama administration, Boeing Co. has negotiated the sale of a fleet of new jets to the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.

The $17.6 billion deal between the aviation giant and the Islamic Republic of Iran was made possible by the lifting of economic sanctions against Tehran in January. It is a reckless piece of business that Congress must address.

Under terms of the memorandum of agreement, Boeing reportedly will supply 80 planes—including intercontinental jumbo jets—to state-owned Iran Air.

The carrier, according to the U.S. Department of Treasury, has been routinely commandeered by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics to transport rockets, missiles, and other military equipment, including materials and technologies with ballistic missile applications.

Iran Air flights have also transported military components to Syria (another state sponsor of terrorism).

None of which concerns President Barack Obama, evidently. His nuclear deal with the ayatollahs, including $150 billion in sequestered funds, specifically lifted restrictions on the sale of commercial aircraft. Indeed, enabling Iran to modernize its timeworn fleet was “essential” to striking agreement with Tehran to (supposedly) restrict its nuclear operations in return for easing economic sanctions, according to Boeing executives.

To complete the sale, Boeing still must obtain an export license from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control. Should a U.S. bank or investment firm wish to finance the purchase, it, too, would have to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Asset Control. (Officials of the U.S. Export-Import Bank have said the bank charter prohibits financing for Iran, but they aren’t the most credible bunch.)

This “licensing” procedure seems downright silly considering that Iran has been designated for years by the U.S. Department of State as “the leading state sponsor of terrorism globally.” As noted in the 2015 edition of the Country Reports on Terrorism, “Iran continues to provide support to Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.”

There is little reason to think that U.S. engagement with Iran is now moderating the regime, according to James Phillips, The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs. Despite the agreement, he reports, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has repeatedly challenged U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf.

For example, the Guard Corps vessels launched rockets within 1,500 yards of the carrier Harry S. Truman near the Strait of Hormuz in late December, and in January flew drones over U.S. warships and detained and humiliated 10 American sailors. In March, the Guard Corps launched a series of missiles, including two that were emblazoned with the message “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew.

To their credit, Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Peter Roskam, R-Ill., aren’t quite as trusting of Iran as the Obama administration. In a June 16 letter to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, the lawmakers said they “strongly oppose the potential sale of militarily-fungible products to terrorism’s central supplier,” and sought assurances that the company would repossess or remotely disable aircraft if Iran violated the nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, Roskam has introduced the No Dollars for Ayatollahs Act, which would impose an excise tax of 100 percent on any transaction that involves Iran conducting a financial transaction in U.S. currency.

According to Roskam, “It’s tragic to watch such an iconic American company make such a terribly short-sighted decision. If Boeing goes through with this deal, the company will forever be associated with Iran’s chief export: radical Islamic terrorism.”

In addition, Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., has introduced the Preventing Investment in Terrorist Regimes Act, which would deny U.S. tax credit to Boeing for the foreign taxes it would pay on the income derived from the Iranian deal.

Both measures are co-sponsored by all six subcommittee chairs of the House Ways and Means Committee. But whether either measure would prove effective in halting the sale, using the tax code to steer the actions of a multinational corporation is a lousy way to set policy.

Besides, Boeing generated more than $96 billion in revenue last year, and its market cap exceeds $86 billion. It also paid a lot of money to lobby in favor of the nuclear deal, including hiring Thomas Pickering, a former ambassador to Israel and the United Nations, to testify before Congress, write letters to high-level officials, and submit op-eds in support of lifting the sanctions. All of which is perfectly acceptable—except that he systematically failed to disclose his relationship with Boeing.

Boeing executives say the proposed sale is necessary to remain competitive against Airbus, the European aviation manufacturer that has struck a $27 billion deal with Iran for 118 planes. But that’s the same lame argument Boeing made in lobbying for reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank—from which Boeing was the top beneficiary of export subsidies.

The fact is, projected demand for commercial planes is forecast to rise for years to come, and both manufacturers are carrying huge backlogs that will take years to fulfill.

Rather than tweak the tax code, Congress should, at the very least, explicitly prohibit financing from the Export-Import Bank for the sale of Boeing planes (or any other product) to Iran.

Additional actions are needed as well. The administration has already increased the risk of yet more death and destruction by the terrorist state. Lawmakers should ensure that Boeing and other U.S. companies don’t become tools of Tehran. (For more from the author of “Iran’s Unfriendly Skies” please click HERE)

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Nearly a Year Since Nuclear Deal, Tom Cotton Alarmed by ‘Empowerment of Iran’

Nearly one year after a group of six nations led by the United States reached a nuclear deal with Iran, one of the loudest critics of the agreement is warning about the “consequences” of an accord that he believes has emboldened Tehran to provoke terror across the world.

Sen. Tom Cotton, a freshman Republican from Arkansas, injected himself into the Iran nuclear debate back when the Obama administration was negotiating the agreement by writing a letter to Iranian leaders declaring that the deal could be thrown away by the next president.

Now that the deal has been implemented, and Iran has constrained its nuclear capability in exchange for billions in sanctions relief, Cotton says he has seen enough to confirm his long-standing fears.

“What we’ve seen in the past year is the more immediate, non-nuclear consequences of the deal, which is the empowerment of Iran throughout the region and the consequences that has for U.S. interests and our allies,” Cotton said Wednesday during a briefing for reporters at The Heritage Foundation.

Referencing specific aggressive behavior from Iran, Cotton mentioned Tehran’s involvement in the wars in Syria and Yemen, its continued support for U.S.-declared terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas, and its recent ballistic missile tests.

“Over the last year we’ve seen nothing but the continued aggression of Iran, and the consequences of the nuclear deal with Iran are growing worse and spreading farther out, and they have an impact not just inside the Middle East but all around the world,” Cotton added.

But even as critics like Cotton sound off against the deal in public, Republicans in Congress haven’t passed an Iran-related bill since the agreement formally went into effect in January.

Cotton hinted that Congress may act soon, and he defended his own attempts at action.

Last month, the Senate voted down Cotton’s amendment to an energy spending bill that would have prohibited the U.S. from buying heavy water—a key component in nuclear weapons development—from Iran.

On Wednesday, Cotton also expressed support to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act, a core element of U.S. sanctions on Tehran that punishes foreign entities supporting Iran’s energy sector and purchase of advanced conventional weapons.

While some have speculated that Iran would view the renewal of the Iran Sanctions Act—which expires at the end of 2016—as a violation of the nuclear deal, the Obama administration has expressed openness to extending the legislation.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is preparing broader sanctions legislation, along with pushing for the extension of the Iran Sanctions Act.

Micah Johnson, Corker’s communications director, told The Daily Signal the proposed legislation would expand sanctions against Iran on issues unrelated to the nuclear agreement, like its support for terrorism and ballistic missile tests.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is working on similar legislation. Yet these actions could have little practical impact—and be resisted by the Obama administration—because they may give Iran less incentive to comply with the nuclear deal.

“I think Obama has the votes to veto and block any legislation that he sees as undermining the nuclear agreement,” Gary Samore, Obama’s former chief adviser on nuclear policy, said.

“Obama won’t allow that to happen because it would give Iran an excuse to renege on the deal,” Samore told The Daily Signal in an interview. “So whatever Congress does at this point seems pretty irrelevant, until there is a new president.”

Iran is already declaring itself unsatisfied about what it has gained under the nuclear deal, as it has struggled to reintegrate with world markets—even after the removal of U.S. and European sanctions.

“The Iranians are unhappy with the degree of sanctions relief they are getting,” Samore said. “The European banks remain very cautious about investment and handling big financial transactions with businesses connected to Iran because there’s still very restrictive non-nuclear sanctions that remain in place on Iran, and that creates legal liability for the banks.”

While Samore doesn’t think Iran is angry enough to renege on the nuclear deal, Cotton argues that Tehran’s frustrations put into question the durability of the agreement. Most of the limits on Iran’s nuclear program expire after 10 to 15 years.

“We’ve seen over the last six months in particular that the leadership of Iran does not view the deal as settled,” Cotton said. “They view it as something subject to continual negotiation and more demands.”

For now, Samore says, Iran is fulfilling its commitments under the nuclear deal, eliminating centrifuges and most of its uranium stockpile, redesigning a research reactor designed to produce plutonium, and allowing international inspectors access to its facilities.

“The agreement has rolled back Iran’s nuclear capacity, so from that standpoint the agreement is a success,” Samore said. “It has achieved what it was intended to achieve, removing the imminent threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. But for those thinking the agreement would be transformative, and have some positive effect on Iran’s domestic policy and foreign policy, that simply hasn’t happened.”

Though proponents of the deal with Iran say it was only intended to address the nuclear issue, Cotton is worried about Tehran’s aggressive behavior in other arenas, and he believes Congress needs to draw a line where he says the Obama administration won’t.

“There has been certainly near-term no sign of moderation from Iran,” Cotton said. “And we are seeing time and time again the imbalance on the two sides of the deal. At least the U.S. government, and maybe the entire Western negotiating partners, want the deal much more than Iran does.” (For more from the author of “Nearly a Year Since Nuclear Deal, Tom Cotton Alarmed by ‘Empowerment of Iran'” please click HERE)

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State Department Admits Briefing Footage on Iran Deal Intentionally Deleted

The State Department, in a stunning admission, acknowledged Wednesday that an official intentionally deleted several minutes of video footage from a 2013 press briefing, where a top spokeswoman seemed to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal.

“There was a deliberate request [to delete the footage] – this wasn’t a technical glitch,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday, in admitting that an unidentified official had a video editor “excise” the segment.

The State Department had faced questions earlier this year over the block of missing tape from a December 2013 briefing. At that briefing, then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked by Fox News’ James Rosen about an earlier claim that no direct, secret talks were underway between the U.S. and Iran – when, in fact, they were.

Psaki at the time seemed to admit the discrepancy, saying: “There are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. This is a good example of that.”

However, Fox News later discovered the Psaki exchange was missing from the department’s official website and its YouTube channel. Eight minutes from the briefing, including the comments on the Iran deal, were edited out and replaced with a white-flash effect. (Read more from “State Department Admits Briefing Footage on Iran Deal Intentionally Deleted” HERE)

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THANKS, OBAMA! Only Eight Iranian Missile Launches Since Nuke Deal Signed!

First, the Obama administration lied its collective asses off regarding every detail of the Iran nuclear deal, virtually guaranteeing a war or a major terror attack involving the West.

Next, they molded a Gumby-spined media into a propaganda arm of the administration, using payola and low-information journalists to spread their message of horses***.

As a result, in addition to kidnapping U.S. service personnel and humiliating them on global television, Iran has begun aggressively launching missiles in all directions, threatening its neighbors and embarrassing President Mom-pants.

In the 10 months since the Iran nuclear agreement was signed, the Islamic Republic has increased the frequency of its ballistic missile testing, according to researcher Michael Elleman, who testified before a US senatorial committee this week … investigating the effects of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the Iran nuclear deal signed in July 2015.

Since then, Iran’s ballistic missile program has become a central issue in the debate surrounding the nuclear deal, with opponents of the agreement saying test launches violate the terms of the JCPOA, while proponents argue missile tests are “inconsistent” with United Nations resolutions but not necessarily illegal.

According to the UN decision, “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” until October 2023.

As they’re only “called upon not to” test missiles, but not expressly forbidden from doing so, Iran has used that loophole to increase its testing with impunity.

When war comes, and it will, let’s all remember to thank Puppet-master Obama, the traitorous Democrat Party, and a complicit media. (For more from the author of “THANKS, OBAMA! Only Eight Iranian Missile Launches Since Nuke Deal Signed!” please click HERE)

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Obama Admin: U.S. Stopped Sanctioning Iranian Human Rights Abusers After Nuke Deal

The Obama administration has not designated a single Iranian as a human rights abuser since finalizing last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement, despite rising abuse in the Islamic Republic, including state-sanctioned killings and the imprisonment of opposition figures.

The administration’s hesitance to use sanctions as a tool to confront Iranian human rights abuses, despite past promises made to Congress, has prompted outrage on Capitol Hill among lawmakers who were given assurances the administration would act.

A senior administration official admitted during questioning on Capitol Hill Wednesday that the U.S. has not sanctioned a single Iranian human rights abuser since the deal was finalized. The disclosure calls into question further administration promises to continue using sanctions as a tool to pressure Iran . . .

Republicans and Democrats alike are now accusing the administration of misleading Congress about its commitment to sanctions and saying that it has avoided such designations in order to prevent the Iranian regime from walking away from the deal.

“We were told during this process that getting the nuclear issue off the table was so critical and we could actually expect Iran to engage in additional destabilizing activity,” Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.) said during a House Foreign Affairs Committee examining the administration’s promises regarding Iran. (Read more from “Obama Admin: U.S. Stopped Sanctioning Iranian Human Rights Abusers After Nuke Deal” HERE)

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