‘Clinton Cash’ book alleges foreign donations to family foundation linked to political favors

A new book accuses the Clinton Foundation — run by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, her husband Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea — of accepting quid pro quo donations from foreign sources while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

The book — “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich” — will no doubt ignite a new level of scrutiny over the political ambitions of Hillary Clinton, currently the lone candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

Clinton’s campaign has asserted that the 186-page investigation by Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, is yet another right-wing hatchet job that leans on bias and innuendo.

Under the microscope are cash infusions to the charitable Clinton Foundation, as well as speaking fees incurred by former US president Bill Clinton, during Hillary Clinton’s four years as secretary of the US State Department under President Barack Obama’s administration.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer wrote in the book, according to the New York Times, which gained access to an advanced copy.

The Clintons’ income was at least $136.5 million between 2001 and 2012, Schweizer wrote in the book, echoing a figure reported by the Washington Post. The Post, New York Times, and Fox News all have agreements with Schweizer to expand further on the storylines he pursued in the book, the Times reported.

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“During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and wealthy individuals, he added.

“Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, payments to Bill Clinton for speeches went up: “Of the 13 Clinton speeches that fetched $500,000 or more, only two occurred during the years his wife was not secretary of state,” Schweizer wrote.

Read more

Hillary Clinton: What to know about her recent controversies, scandals

In 2011, for example, Bill Clinton made $13.3 million for 54 speeches, most of them made overseas, the book reported.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s young presidential campaign, said Schweizer’s book is part of the conservative attack machine that will certainly continue to target Clinton with unrelenting fervor.

The book, he said, consists of “twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories,” and that “it will not be the first work of partisan-fueled fiction about the Clintons’ record, and we know it will not be the last.”

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Recent books on the Clintons’ political dealings — including “Blood Feud” and “Clinton Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine” — have been accused of being thinly-veiled attack efforts that are low on credibility. “Clinton Cash,” however, relied on extensive investigative reporting with detailed source citations to tax records, government documents, and the like, the Times reported. Though Schweizer also makes clear in the book he is no fan of the Clintons.

This is not the first time the Clinton Foundation donors and their relationship to the most powerful family in US politics have been questioned.

As RT has reported, from 2009 up to 2013, the year the Ukrainian crisis erupted, the Clinton Foundation received at least $8.6 million from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, which is headquartered in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, calling into question whether the donations were an attempt to curry favor from the US State Dept. Several alumni of oligarch Pinchuk’s program have already graduated into the ranks of Ukraine’s parliament, while a former Clinton pollster went to work as a lobbyist for Pinchuk at the same time Clinton was working in government.

According to the International Business Times, the Clinton Foundation accepted million of dollars from a Colombian oil company before then-Secretary of State Clinton changed her previous position and supported a US-Colombia trade deal, controversial for its links to human rights violations. In addition, after the deal was finalized, Clinton’s State Department “never criticized or took action against the Colombian government for alleged violations of labor rights at Pacific Rubiales,” the oil company “at the center of Colombia’s labor strife,” IBT reported.

In early April, McClatchy News Service reported that, since 2001, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — governments that have been maligned for their dismal human rights records and for ties to terror funding throughout the Middle East — gave as much as $40 million to the Clinton Foundation.

In March, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the Clinton Foundation had accepted as much as $68 million from elite donors with close ties to foreign governments and state-run companies while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The conflict-of-interest allegations were denied by the Clintons, who said the donations were part and parcel of building coalitions to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.

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Amid mounting criticism, the Clinton Foundation announced last week that it would revise its policy of accepting donations from Germany, Britain, Canada, and other nations, while curbing money from Middle Eastern countries.

No walls to save eurozone from ‘Greece amputation’ domino effect – Varoufakis

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Those in the EU who want Greece to leave the eurozone are playing with fire, country’s Finance Minister said, claiming that no “fence” could possibly exist that would protect the union from a domino effect should Greece or any other member leave.

“Anyone who toys with the idea of cutting off bits of the eurozone, hoping the rest will survive is playing with fire,” Yanis Varoufakis told La Sexta, a Spanish TV channel. In an interview, recorded 10 days ago but broadcast on Sunday, Varoufakis warned that those in the EU who think they have been “ring-fenced” from the Greek struggle are mistaken.

“Some claim that the rest of Europe has been ring-fenced from Greece and that the ECB has tools at its disposal to amputate Greece, if need be, cauterize the wound and allow the rest of eurozone to carry on,” Varoufakis said. “I very much doubt that that is the case. Not just because of Greece but for any part of the union.”

The fear factor in terms of a potential domino effect throughout Europe will be impossible to ignore if Athens is pushed to a point where it will have to consider exiting the eurozone. A default in Greece would have a ripple effect on the European economy, as Greece’s debt is tied to the European Central Bank, and shares a currency with 18 other eurozone members.

Read more

European central banks urge ditching Greek assets, as default fears mount – media

“Once the idea enters peoples’ minds that monetary union is not forever, speculation begins … who’s next? That question is the solvent of any monetary union. Sooner or later it’s going to start raising interest rates, political tensions, capital flight,” Varoufakis warned.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin claimed last week that the union can survive without Greece.

“If something damaging happens, it will be for Greece that it will be serious, for the Greek people, not for the other countries of the eurozone. We’re not at all in the same situation that we were in four or five years ago,” Sapin told reporters Saturday.

Over the years, Sapin said, EU economies grew to protect their banking system, to “build walls,” and to offer protection to those in the union if Greek exit ever happens. The French FM also called on Athens to abide by treaties and agreements signed.

In February, Greece’s creditors agreed to temporarily extend the bailout program until June while Athens is preparing an economic reform plan that the new government hope would finally set the country on a course of economic growth. A framework deal between Greece and its EU creditors is due on April 24.

Read more

Greece will ‘compromise’ with creditors, but ‘not going to be compromised’

Despite expressing clear intentions of averting default and remaining in the eurozone, Greece is struggling to keep its head above water and borrow money for regular repayments to its creditors. EU creditors want more reforms from Greece to get more funding. Greeks, instead of austerity policies, want to focus on stimulus schemes needed to recover economic growth.

“The Greek government has presented a realistic reform plan that doesn’t contain recessionary measures or burden the weaker layers of society, yet gives the economy breathing space,” Syriza party spokeswoman Rania Svigou said Sunday, Bloomberg reports. “The government will exhaust all possibilities for a solution that respects the mandate of the Greek people.”

Anti-NATO parties grab top spots in Finland general election

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The Prime Minister of Finland has acknowledged the victory of the opposition Centre Party in Sunday’s general election. With all votes counted, Centre has 21.1 percent support, which translates to 49 seats in the country’s parliament.

“It appears the Centre has won. Congratulations,” PM Alexander Stubb, a staunch EU backer, said, according to Finnish broadcaster Yle.

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However, with only 49 seats, Centre will have to form a ruling coalition. “This result will enable several possible coalition combinations”, party leader Juha Sipila told reporters.

The Centre has several potential allies to choose from. These include the nationalist Finns Party, which came in second with 17.6 percent of the vote. Like the Centre, the Finns are against NATO membership for Finland, with the Finns also striving for more independence from the EU.

Read more

Moscow hits out as Finland and Sweden seek closer ties with NATO

They are closely followed by the National Coalition Party (NCP), with 18.2 percent. The NCP is the only party in the top four which advocates both NATO membership and closer ties with the EU.

The Social Democratic Party, at fourth place with 16.5 percent, is another potential member for the ruling coalition. Like Centre and the Finns, it is against NATO – as many as 91 percent of its members saying they are oppose it.

Other runners include the Greens, the Left party the pro-minority Swedish People’s Party and the Christian Democrats, none of which got more than eight percent of the vote.

US lawmakers agree to fast-track secretive international trade deals

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Leaders of two key congressional panels have agreed on a deal that would “fast-track” the Obama administration’s ability to draft a pair of controversial international trade bills and move them through Congress.

If passed, the agreement, known as the “trade promotion authority” bill (TPA), would permit President Barack Obama to expedite the process of authorizing trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – currently being drafted by the US and 11 other Pacific nations – and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union.

Under the rules of the TPA, Congress would be able to vote on whether or not to approve either of the deals, but they would not be allowed to offer any amendments that could potentially alter the substance of the agreements.

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Additionally, the TPA would set guidelines for US negotiators currently hammering out details with their international counterparts. For example, it requires that American negotiators work out an understanding on human rights with trade partners, the New York Times reported, which has never been required for international deals before.

It would also require that any final trade agreement be made public about two months before the president signs it into law and up to four months before it comes up for a vote in Congress.

Of the two deals, the TPP has garnered the most press due to the White House’s stated “pivot” to Asia, which involves rebalancing American focus to East and South Asia. However, most of the pact’s details remain secret – itself a cause for concern among skeptics. Supporters of the TPP argue that it will open up markets and opportunities for American goods as well as boost America’s profile in Asia, where a rising China poses multiple challenges.

Read more

Leaked TPP investment chapter: Corporations can sue states in private courts

President Obama said he was “pleased” with the deal in a statement. He acknowledged that past trade deals “haven’t always lived up to their promise,” but pledged to sign a deal that would benefit ordinary Americans. He also said deals like the TPP are important avenues through which America could maintain its influence on the global economy.

“The bill put forward today would help us write those rules in a way that avoids the mistakes from our past, seizes opportunities for our future, and stays true to our values,” Obama said. “It would level the playing field, give our workers a fair shot, and for the first time, include strong fully enforceable protections for workers’ rights, the environment, and a free and open internet.”

Opponents, however, are worried about a plethora of issues, including the possibility that the TPP would cost Americans jobs and only benefit corporations as well as the already wealthy. There are also concerns that the agreement won’t do enough to establish labor and human rights in countries like Vietnam, that it would make the internet less free around the world, and that environmental protections won’t be strong enough.

READ MORE: Democrats to fight Obama on secret trade deal authorization

On top of these fears, some lawmakers, such as Sen. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), question the extent to which new markets will actually embrace the US. Japan, for example, has resisted eliminating tariffs on American agricultural products and opening its market to the automotive industry, although there have been reports that Tokyo will reduce tariffs on a few hundred products.

Levin called the TPA “a major step back,” while Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), widely expected to take the reins of the Democratic Party in the Senate once Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) leaves office, criticized the quick process by which the terms of the TPA were struck.

“This process is not good,” he told the Huffington Post. “We are supposed to vote on TPA, tie our hands and not vote on amendments, before we’ve seen what the [Trans-Pacific Partnership] is. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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Labor unions, environmental and internet advocacy groups have loudly protested the TPP, but Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) a key lawmaker needed to ensure passage of any expedited deal, tried to assuage fears by saying the bill allows Congress to revoke fast-track authority if the White House fails to meet the criteria it sets out. However, it’s unlikely that such provisions will mollify opponents.

It’s also unlikely that Obama will secure approval from the majority of his party even if and when the TPP is finalized, as many Democrats have come out against it. Republicans have generally voted in favor of such deals, though – and they control both chambers of Congress – so expectations are that a deal could pass in a rare show of bipartisan cooperation.

The TPP is being negotiated among the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

US military instructors deployed to Ukraine to train local forces

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Paratroopers of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade, based in Vincenza, Italy, have arrived in western Ukraine to provide training for Ukrainian government troops.

The announcement came on US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt’s twitter account. The diplomat posted pictures of the US paratroopers marching through the airport in the western Ukrainian city of Lvov.

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Pyatt has not given the exact number of the servicemen deployed in Ukraine, but according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, there should be some 290 US paratroopers. Avakov said that, under an agreement with the US State Department, long-term joint drills of US paratroopers and combat units of the Ukrainian National Guard, as well as training will take place at Yavorivky.

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The joint drills were agreed by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and US Vice-President Joe Biden early in spring. The US paratroopers’ training will last for 24 weeks and involve some 900 servicemen, from several Ukrainian National Guard units.

In March, the UK started its training mission in Ukraine. It was planned that up to 75 troops at a time would be engaged in a six-month-long mission, training Kiev’s military “to strengthen the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces and build the resilience that they need.”

Read more

UK troops start training Ukraine’s army, US confirms own mission

Russia has expressed its concerns over the military training of Ukrainian forces, saying such actions do not support conflict settlement in the east of the country.

“The presence of foreign instructors in Ukraine, where an internal conflict remains unresolved in southeast and where problems arise with the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement, does not help in settling the conflict and producing an environment beneficial for it. On the contrary, it destabilizes the situations,” said Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman.

Kiev and rebel forces signed a ceasefire deal in February, which involves the pullout of heavy weapons and a profound reform, which would address the grievances of the dissenting regions and reintegrate them into Ukraine. The deal has more or less held so far, with the level of violence in eastern Ukraine dropping significantly, OSCE monitors on the ground have reported.

READ MORE: US govt issues logistics support tender for 300 military personnel in Ukraine

But there is a high level of mistrust remaining among the rebels toward Kiev. The Ukrainian authorities don’t appear to be willing to resume social payments in the areas they don’t control, a measure specified in the ceasefire agreement.

Instead, they are investing heavily into rearming and training of the Ukrainian Army and National Guard. Combined with belligerent rhetoric dominating the political discourse in Ukraine, there is rising fear that Kiev plans a new offensive, instead of sticking to the peace plan.

List of Obama’s lies and Iranian fact sheet that completely contradicts White House

Obama-Lies-SC

When asked about the post-Iran contretemps, I said repeatedly on a number of radio shows this week that if I had to choose who was the bigger liar, Obama or Khameni, there was no contest — Obama.

Obama is a liar. Pathological. Is there anything he hasn’t lied about?

You can keep your doctor.

The Benghazi  attack was the fault of a  YouTube video.

There was no stand down order.

Islam is peace.

Obama on IRS Scandal: “Not Even A Smidgen Of Corruption”

“My position hasn’t changed” on using executive authority to address immigration issues.

Says his comment about extremists being a JV team “wasn’t specifically referring to” the Islamic State.

Afghanistan is the good war.

The “most realistic estimates” for jobs created by Keystone XL are “maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline.”

“My father served in World War II”

“No more Illegal Wire Tapping of American Citizens”

“Throughout, we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts” to create a legal framework on counterterrorism.

“Over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of” President George W. Bush’s policies and the recession. (Fast and Furious began in 2009,)

“The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me.”

He is a pathological liar. The Iranians may scam the talks in order to buy time to build their nuclear arsenal, but Obama is the liar.

So I ask you, who do you believe?

EXCLUSIVE: Iranian Parliament Releases “Factsheet” for Revision of Lausanne

Statement

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940126001122

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TEHRAN (FNA – Fars News Agency)- The Iranian parliament’s Nuclear Committee

on Wednesday released a factsheet to declare the revisions needed to be made

in the Lausanne statement that was issued by Tehran and the world powers as

a framework understanding at the end of their nuclear talks in Switzerland

earlier this month.

The factsheet which was presented by Head of the Nuclear Committee Ebrahim

Karkhaneyee on Wednesday stresses the necessity for respecting the redlines

and guidelines specified by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution

Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, making Iran’s decisions and undertakings

reversible to enable the country to resume its nuclear operations in case of

the other side’s non-commitment to its undertakings, and immediate

termination of all sanctions in a single step and on the first day of the

implementation of the final agreement.

The factsheet also necessitates commitment of both sides to their

undertakings based on the Geneva agreement, a fair and reasonable balance

between the gives and takes, taking good care not to impair the country’s

security and military boundaries and national interests, providing 190,000

SWUs (Separative Work Units) of nuclear fuel enrichment capability needed by

Iran to produce fuel for the Bushehr nuclear power plant immediately after

the end of contract with Russia, safeguarding the nuclear achievements,

actual operation of all nuclear facilities of Iran not in words, but in

action, continued Research and Development (R&D) works and scientific and

technological progress in Iran and immediate application of R&D findings in

the country’s industrial-scale uranium enrichment cycle.

The factsheet urges operation of 10,000 centrifuge machines at Natanz and

Fordo, a maximum 5-year-long duration for the deal and for Iran’s nuclear

limitations, replacement of the current centrifuges with the latest

generation of home-made centrifuge machines at the end of the five-year

period.

Enrichment Program:

The period for the Join Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should be

limited to five years, in which about 10,000 active centrifuges operating at

Natanz and Fordo now will continue nuclear fuel production by enriching

uranium below the 5% grade.

The UF6 enriched reserves which are under the supervision of the

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should be kept at Fordo nuclear

plant and will be turned into nuclear fuel complex based on the existing

capabilities.

During the five-year period, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to

keep the excess centrifuges installed at Natanz and Fordo or will gradually

dismantle them, and at the end of the 5-year period, it will replace all the

existing centrifuges, including the active or inactive ones, with the new

generation of (IR-N) centrifuge machines with the help of the new spaces and

infrastructures which will have been already prepared and will use them

without any limitation.

Justification:

Based on the Geneva agreement, the period for the final step should merely

include a single period which has been considered as to be five years in the

present factsheet. But in the Lausanne statement, different periods of 10,

20, 25 years and higher have been considered.

Given the Geneva agreement, the amount of enrichment should be specified

based on the country’s practical needs and the number of 10,000 centrifuges

has also been specified on this basis.

The 5-year period in this factsheet has been has been specified with respect

to the date when Iran’s nuclear fuel contract with Russia for the Bushehr

nuclear power plant will end; hence, the rules and limitations for the

components of the enrichment cycle should be set in such a way that the

Islamic Republic of Iran will be able to supply the fuel needed for the

power plant after the end of the contract with Russia.

Operation of 10,000 centrifuges and developing and having a 10-ton enriched

uranium stockpile will enable the Islamic Republic of Iran to supply the

fuel needed for the Bushehr power plant in the year when the fuel supply

contract with Russia (28-30 tons) ends.

Fordo installations:

Fordo nuclear facility will remain an enrichment and nuclear Research and

Development (R&D) center. 4 enrichment cascades with 656 centrifuges will

continue operation and production of fuel for purity levels lower than 5% by

maintaining the current chain arrangements.

If the country would need 20%-degree (enriched) uranium, the nuclear fuel

production line for purity levels lower than 5% will be altered to enrich

uranium to the 20%-grade after connecting the centrifuge cascades to each

other again.

Justification:

Based on the above, Fordo will remain an actual and active center, and the

Islamic Republic of Iran will maintain its capability to reverse its

decision and restore the 20%-grade enrichment.

Research and Development (R&D):

In a bid to use R&D findings in the country’s industrial-scale enrichment

chain, R&D should be planned in a way that the necessary possibilities and

infrastructures will be provided for replacing the first generation of

centrifuges with the latest generation of centrifuge machines (IR-N) when

the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action comes to an end after 5 years.

The R&D program should undergo no limitation before it comes into use for

industrial-scale operation.

Justification:

Accordingly, the advanced centrifuges will enter the chain of nuclear fuel

production without any restriction at the end of the 5-year deal.

Arak Heavy Water Reactor:

Given the Group 5+1 countries’ mere concern about the plutonium existing in

the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) of the Arak 40-MW heavy water reactor, the fuel

used by the reactor will be sent abroad.

The G5+1 states will be committed to cooperate and take the necessary

measures for relevant international licensing and permissions.

Justification:

Given the SNF export abroad, the insistence of the G5+1, specially the US,

on redesigning the said reactor is merely a pretext and doesn’t have any

scientific rationale.

What is more important than the heavy water nature of Arak reactor is the

core of the reactor which is due to be taken out and then be redesigned and

renovated. Such a move is irreversible in nature, and thus means crossing

the specified redlines.

Supervision and Inspection:

Supervision and inspections of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear

program should be carried out within the framework of the the

Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) safeguards agreements.

Justification:

Once done, the principle stated by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic

Revolution – that security and military sanctities and boundaries shouldn’t

be violated and that the inspections should be carried out at conventional

levels similar to all other countries – will be respected and materialized.

Given the Islamic Republic of Iran’s opposition to the world arrogance,

endorsing and implementing the Additional Protocol will provide the world

arrogance (a term normally used for the US and its western allies) with

legal grounds to stage their preplanned plots against the Islamic Republic

of Iran.

Sanctions:

Concurrently with the start of the JCPOA, all the US and EU sanctions will

be terminated and Iran will start fulfilling its undertakings based on the

verification of the IAEA.

The UN Security Council sanctions resolution against Iran will be annulled

and all nuclear-related sanctions will be terminated and the Islamic

Republic of Iran’s case will be normalized.

The G5+1 countries, the EU and the UNSC will avoid imposition of new

nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.

Justification:

By terminating all sanctions in a single step right at the start of the

implementation of the final comprehensive agreement, the Supreme Leader’s

statement that termination of sanctions is part of the agreement and not its

result will be materialized.

Based on the Geneva agreement, after the implementation of the JCPOA, all

UNSC, US and EU sanctions should be terminated and no new (UNSC) resolution

would be needed in this regard; Hence, terminating the UNSC sanctions will

close the case and no new resolution which would pave the ground for new

plots will be issued.

International cooperation:

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear cooperation with the world states,

including the G5+1 members, in areas of building nuclear power plants,

research reactors, nuclear fuel production, nuclear safety medicine and

nuclear agriculture, etc. will be possible and will improve. Based on the

JCPOA, Iran will be provided with access to the global market, trade and

finance and technical know-how and energy.

Reversibility:

In case of the two sides’ non-commitment to their undertakings, there will

be a possibility for reversing all measures.

Justification:

Based on the aforementioned proposal, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be

provided with reversible measures at the lowest level of damage and,

therefore, the G5+1’s commitment to its undertakings will be in fair balance

(with those of Iran).

Duration of the JCPOA:

After the end of the five-year period and the JCPOA exercise, all

restrictions will be lifted and based on the Geneva agreement, the case with

the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program will be similar to that of

the other NPT member states.

The Iranian Parliament factsheet for a revision to the Lausanne agreement

came after the US released a factsheet different from the joint statement

issued by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Federica

Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs

and head of the G5+1 in nuclear talks with Iran, at the end of the latest

round of Iran-world powers nuclear talks in Switzerland on April 2, known as

the Lausanne statement.

The US factsheet that was released only a few hours after the Lausanne

framework understanding caused fury in Iran, encouraging many to raise deep

doubt about the results of the talks and US accountability and

trustworthiness.

In only a few weeks, a bipartisan bill was also presented to the Congress

for vote that would give the US legislature oversight of a final deal, a

move seen by many across the globe, including both Iran and the US, as

furthering impediments to the endorsement of a final deal between Iran and

the sextet.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Bob Corker, who wrote

the bill, said the White House had agreed to go along with the bill only

after it was clear there was strong Democratic support. The legislation was

passed unanimously by the committee and is expected to pass the full Senate

and then the House of Representatives.

“That change occurred only when they saw how many senators were going to

vote for this,” Corker said.

Bipartisan support for the bill had grown in recent weeks to near the 67

votes needed to override any presidential veto. But senators from Obama’s

Democratic Party did succeed in adding amendments to water down the bill,

making it more palatable to the White House.

– See more at: http://pamelageller.com/2015/04/list-of-obamas-lies-and-iranian-fact-sheet-that-completely-contradicts-white-house.html/#sthash.7U9xYXj0.dpuf

‘No end to sanctions, no agreement’: Iran sticks to nuclear deal demands

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There’ll be no deal on Tehran’s nuclear program without the simultaneous lifting of all sanctions against Iran, President Hassan Rouhani stressed, echoing an earlier statement by Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“If there is no end to sanctions, there will not be an agreement,” Rouhani said in a televised speech in the northern Iranian city of Rasht. “The end of these negotiations and a signed deal must include a declaration of cancelling the oppressive sanctions on the great nation of Iran.”

By signing the deal, Tehran wants to end its international isolation and build a “constructive interaction with the world and not confrontation,” he said.

Rouhani also stressed that Iran is in negotiations with P5+1 powers (China, France, Russia, UK, US and Germany), but not the US Congress, referring to the standoff between President Obama’s administration and lawmakers over the nuclear deal.

A unanimous vote by a Senate committee on Tuesday, which granted Congress the power to review a potential Iran nuclear deal after a June 30 deadline is a US domestic matter, he said.

Read more

Netanyahu’s biggest fear? That Iran ‘honors nuclear deal’

The vote came as a result of a compromise between the White House and the Senators, which allowed Obama to avoid possible legislative disapproval of the agreement before it can be completed. The development was praised by Israel, which has been a persistent critic of the Iranian nuclear deal, repeatedly stating that it “would not block Iran’s path to the [nuclear] bomb. It would pave it.”

“The compromise reached in the Senate [committee] is a good one and a very important development,” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio. He called the vote “an achievement for Israeli policy” after Tel Aviv has rallied its allies in the Congress in an attempt to block the Iranian deal.

Another round of talks involving Iranian and international negotiators, aimed at turning the framework agreement, reached earlier this month, into a final deal, is scheduled to begin on April 21.

Several complex technical issues will be on the agenda, including the timetable for a lifting of international sanctions.

Read more

Tehran and world powers reach solutions on Iran nuclear program

Iran said it will scale down its nuclear program and agree unprecedented inspections of its activities in the field in exchange for the removal of all restrictive measures against the country on the same day the deal is struck.

However, the world powers lean towards gradual lifting of the sanctions and want a mechanism developed to ensure they can be quickly re-imposed if Tehran violates the agreement.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif may meet up with his counterparts from P5+1 powers in New York later in April to keep discussing the deal, his Ministry said.

“It could be possible that negotiations take place on the sidelines” of the review conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which starts on April 27, Marzieh Afkham, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, is cited by AFP.

Iran was placed under harsh international sanctions as the West believes that it is developing its nuclear program to make an atomic bomb. The accusations have been denied by Tehran throughout 12 years of tensions, as it claims that the nuclear energy is needed purely for civilian purposes, such as cancer treatment and energy supplies.