WASHINGTON — Just four days before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress, the Obama administration sought on Friday to refute the Israeli leader’s expected critique, arguing that he has failed to present a feasible alternative to American proposals for constraining Iran’s nuclear program.
In a briefing for reporters, senior administration officials contended that even an imperfect agreement that kept Iran’s nuclear efforts frozen for an extended period was preferable to a breakdown in talks that could allow the leadership in Tehran unfettered ability to produce enriched uranium and plutonium.
“The alternative to not having a deal is losing inspections,” said one senior official, who would not be quoted by name under conditions that the administration set for the briefing, “and an Iran ever closer to having the fissile material to manufacture a weapon.”
The briefing came at what appears to be a milestone in the talks.
Administration officials and their European counterparts appear to be preparing for some kind of agreement — one that could ultimately be frustrated by Congress or among hard-liners in Iran.
But the American officials speaking Friday avoided directly answering some questions about important outcomes of the agreement still being negotiated.
Asked whether the accord would guarantee that Iran would remain at least a year away from being able to produce enough fuel for a single nuclear weapon, a senior official said that the agreement was still under negotiation and that it was not yet clear how long the accord might last. He noted that some “transparency measures” that might provide insight into the inner workings of Iran’s nuclear activities might be in effect for an “extended period of time.”
Several news organizations, including The New York Times, reported this week that Iran’s capacity to produce enriched uranium would be sharply limited for at least a decade under a phased accord. But Tehran would be able to build up its capacity again in the last years of an agreement. That suggested that in those final years of a deal, Iran could move closer to where it is today — two or three months away from being able to produce a bomb’s worth of material, rather than the required year that the administration says is its bottom line for the first phase of an agreement.
The officials were also vague about whether, and how quickly, Iran would have to answer a dozen questions from the International Atomic Energy Agency about research it is suspected of carrying out on nuclear designs — what the agency calls the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s program. The I.A.E.A., the United Nations’ inspection agency, said again last week that Iran stonewalled inspectors on answering most of its questions, which the Iranians insist are based on fabricated evidence.
Mr. Netanyahu, in a speech he is giving at the invitation of the House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, is expected to argue that the agreement taking shape now would leave Iran with a vast infrastructure it could use to pursue the development of nuclear weapons once the agreement expired, allowing Iran to become a “nuclear threshold state.”
This week, Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress that Mr. Netanyahu was wrong when he predicted that the interim agreement reached with Iran would fail and would result in the collapse of the sanctions regimen against Tehran, and administration officials suggested that his opposition to a comprehensive agreement was also wrongheaded.
But the concerns voiced by Mr. Netanyahu are also shared by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states that are regional rivals of Iran. Mr. Kerry plans to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and other Arab officials over the next week to try to reassure them about the agreement.
While the United States has taken the lead in the nuclear talks with the Iranians, the negotiating partners also include France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China. European officials have suggested in recent days that an agreement is closer than the “50-50” assessment by Obama administration officials.
“We have made a substantial amount of progress,” the senior administration official acknowledged. “Ultimately, Iran has to make a very significant political decision to allow the flexibility to close this deal.”
By Brian Anderson, March 1, 2015.
When illegal aliens are caught by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they are given a couple of options. They can pursue legal action in an effort to stay or they can simply leave in what is known as “self deportation.” A US District judge just ruled that those who chose to leave may not have understood what they were doing and ordered that they be allowed to return to the U.S.
This completely insane ruling could allow thousands of illegal aliens to re-enter America and seek permanent resident status. It comes from a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (surprise) that basically said ICE officials were tricking illegal aliens into self-deporting. ICE agreed to a settlement last year to stop the practice, but that wasn’t good enough. The ACLU wanted anyone who left on their own accord to be allowed to come back and they got it.
U.S. District Judge John Kronstadt in Los Angeles on Thursday approved the ACLU’s request to broaden the class of plaintiffs to include immigrants improperly expelled between June 2009 and August 2014, said Anna Castro, a spokeswoman for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
The judge ruled that the class of immigrants who could return was comprised of those with reasonable grounds to believe they might have been allowed to stay in the United States if they had gone before a federal immigration judge.
As a result, hundreds and possibly thousands of immigrants expelled to Mexico from Southern California are eligible to return and present their case in immigration court for legal U.S. residency, Castro said.
Apparently some of the confusion on the part of the illegal immigrants was that they didn’t understand that by self-deporting they would be banned from legally entering the United States for ten years. They were breaking the law to begin with but thought that by leaving they could just turn around and come back in? Makes perfect sense to me.
ICE and DHS didn’t put up much of a fight, no doubt getting a memo from President
Obama saying: viva illegals!
The Department of Homeland Security has said U.S. agencies agreed to a settlement with the ACLU so they could “supplement their existing procedures to ensure foreign nationals fully comprehend the potential consequences of returning voluntarily to Mexico.”
Let’s try to understand this: there is a group of people who were breaking the law. Rather than face justice, they voluntarily left. Now, by a judge’s order, they are being allowed to return to America to resume their illegal activity.
This would be like someone stealing a car, returning it to the owner, and then a judge decides that the car thief was entitled to possession of the stolen automobile because he didn’t understand that stealing was wrong.
Obama is right about one thing: our immigration system is broken, though not in the way he thinks it is. We can do next to nothing to stop illegal aliens from entering our country. We can do next to nothing to force illegal aliens to leave our country. Now, even when some of them do leave, they get invited back. A country without borders is not a country at all.
In a shocking report, a Kuwaiti newspaper is claiming that President Barack Obama once threatened to shoot down Israeli jets if they went through with a plan to target Iranian nuclear sites.
Citing “well-placed sources,” Al-Jarida claims that sometime in 2014, the Israeli government made plans to attack Iran when they heard that the United States and Iran were on the cusp of striking a secret nuclear deal behind Israeli’s back. The decision was made after Israel learned the terms of the deal were supposedly “a threat to Israel’s security.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly came to the decision after four nights of deliberation with commanders, and Israeli jets even managed experimental test flights in Iranian airspace after evading Iranian radars. But when an Israeli official with good ties to the Obama administration revealed the planned airstrikes, Obama allegedly threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets. (VIDEO: Bobby Jindal Slams Obama For ‘Disrespecting Israel And The Jewish People’)
Israeli media network Arutz Sheva points out that at least one veteran Democratic statesman has been open in their opinion that the U.S. should shoot down any Iran-bound Israeli jets. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq,” former diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski said in 2008, “Are we just going to sit there and watch?”
At least some are skeptical of Al-Jarida’s report. One reporter for the conservative Jewish Press notes the story “appears at first glance to be an invention of an imaginative editor.” But the same writer notes that “Al-Jarida is considered to be a relatively liberal publication whose editor Mohammed al-Sager previously won the International Press Freedom Award of the Committee to Protect Journalists.”
Why are so many bankers committing suicide? Over 40 in the past thirteen months alone. Do they know something that the general public doesn’t? This is the main question in my mind.
CLOSTER, NEW JERSEY – A JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee and his wife were discovered dead in their home on Friday in an apparent murder-suicide.
Iran Pars Tabacchi, who went by Denise, was found dead on February 6th from strangulation and a single stab wound to the chest. Iran’s husband, 27-year-old Michael Tabacchi died of a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest, according to authorities.
New Jersey officials believe that Michael murdered his wife around 11pm Friday night before killing himself. No motive has been determined at this time.
Officials are not aware of the couple having any financial or marital issues.
An undisclosed text message was sent to Michael’s father from the banker’s cell phone that evening. The text prompted him to drive to his son’s quaint suburban home where he discovered the slain bodies along with a kitchen knife in the floor. There was no note left behind.
Michael worked for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in Manhattan since 2009. He served as a Global Custody Product Manager since October 2013. Prior to this position, he was employed as an Operations Analyst by the banking giant.
The couple, who were married in 2013, had a 15 month old son together. The child was found in the home unharmed.
Another New Jersey resident, Julian Knott, who was the executive director of JPMorgan’s Global Network Operations Center was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide last July.
This is at least the 40th banker who has died under unusual circumstances over the past 13 months.
Call people who warn of an inevitable economic collapse conspiracy theorists if you will but I say to prepare for hard times ahead. So many reports of the world’s leaders and the super rich prepping while assuring us that there is nothing to be alarmed of, basically making a mockery of those who dare warn others to pray for the best but also prepare for the worst.
Make your own choices, but there is only one clear choice to me. And that is making sure that in case the economy fails, my family and I have adequate resources to survive.
The US president threatens to veto a bipartisan bill that authorizes Congress to review any possible nuclear deal the administration reaches with Iran.
That’s according to a statement by National Security Council Spokeswoman, Bernadette Meehan. The statement also called on US senators to avoid measures that complicate the process of the nuclear talks with Iran. Earlier, a group of US lawmakers introduced a motion that required President Barack Obama to submit the text of any agreement with Iran to Congress. The legislation allows Congress to have a say on the final terms of the nuclear deal. It also bars the Obama administration from suspending congressional sanctions on Iran for two months while Congress discusses the agreement.