Washington, DC – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) was one of 37 organizations to send a letter to Congress today regarding the roles of Congress and the President in sealing a nuclear deal with Iran. The letter was prompted when certain lawmakers reacted harshly to a New York Times report that, if there is a nuclear deal with Iran, the White House plans to initially use executive action to temporarily suspend certain sanctions.
“The lawmakers pretending to be shocked are the ones who never had any intention of trading in sanctions to get a peaceful nuclear deal,” said NIAC Policy Director Jamal Abdi. “They wanted to use sanctions to either make the standoff with Iran permanent, as with Cuba, or start a catastrophic war, as with Iraq.”
Congress has consistently provided the necessary authority for the President to temporarily suspend sanctions on Iran as necessary. Yet some of the Republican authors of the sanctions bills, including Mark Kirk and Ileana Ros Lehtinen, have been the most vocal critics of the President’s plan to use those authorities.
“If Iran upholds its commitments and the deal is working, Congress would need to authorize permanent sanctions relief,” said Abdi. “But some lawmakers simply do not want any peaceful deal and are grasping at straws to try to prevent it.”
US condemns shelling of UN school in Gaza but restocks Israeli ammunition
White House issues unusually strong rebuke after 16 deaths
But Pentagon confirms that US resupplied Israel with ammunition
The United States issued a firm condemnation of the shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza that killed at least 16 Palestinians on Wednesday, but also confirmed it restocked Israel’s dwindling supplies of ammunition.
The White House expressed concern that thousands of civilians who had sought protection from the UN were at risk after the shelling of the girls’ elementary school. Some 3,300 civilians were taking shelter there, after being told by Israel to leave their homes.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, which runs the school, said its initial assessment was that it has been struck by Israeli artillery.
“The United States condemns the shelling of a UNRWA school in Gaza, which reportedly killed and injured innocent Palestinians – including children – and UN humanitarian workers,” said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House’s National Security Council.
“We are extremely concerned that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians who have been called on by the Israeli military to evacuate their homes are not safe in UN designated shelters in Gaza.”
Meehan and other US officials that condemned the attack did not specifically accuse Israel of responsibility for the shelling, saying there were conflicting reports about the circumstances of the incident that required further investigation. They did not specify the nature of those conflicting reports.
Iran Air’s US-based attorney, Thomas Whalen from the aviation law practice of Washington firm Eckert Seamans Cherin and Mellott, argues that sanctions in international aviation are detrimental to all involved
The USA continues to impose sanctions on Iranian carriers that are detrimental to airline safety and violate the Chicago Convention.
The economic sanctions the USA has imposed against Iran for the last 25- plus years not only block trade but also prevent carriers in Iran from obtaining US-made aircraft as well as engines and parts which are needed to maintain the safety of their fleets. The sanctions are detrimental to aviation safety and are endangering the lives of passengers travelling on Iran Air, other Iranian carriers and foreign airlines which operate to Iran. As a result, these sanctions violate the commitment to airline safety made by the USA, Iran and most nations of the world in 1944 when the Chicago Convention was forged.
As the clock runs out on negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, a new study of the American public finds that 61 percent favor making a deal with Iran that would limit Iran’s enrichment capacity and impose additional intrusive inspections in exchange for the lifting of some sanctions. This includes 62 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents.
The deal that was backed by a majority specified that Iran could enrich uranium to the level necessary for nuclear energy, provided that it accepts intrusive inspections to ensure that Iran is not building nuclear weapons. Some sanctions would then be gradually removed, provided that Iran upholds the agreement.
The study also finds that 61 percent favor working together with Iran to deal with the situation in Iraq. More than seven in ten also favor various confidence-building measures, such as more cultural exchanges and sporting events, as well as more extensive government-to-government talks on issues of mutual concern.
“While there are no easy or definitive answers to the dispute about Iran’s nuclear program, most Americans clearly favor diplomatic engagement and cooperation over the alternatives,” said Nancy Gallagher, research director at CISSM. “Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents all think that compromise makes more sense than yet another round of sanctions.”
U.S. sanctions against Iran don’t just hurt the Islamic Republic, they also have an impact on the U.S. economy—to the tune of as much as $175.3 billion since 1995, according to a new study.
The report found the U.S. had lost between $134.7 and 175 billion in potential export revenue since 1995, after examining decades of bilateral trade patterns between Iran and its 25 largest trading partners, plus Mexico, due to its high level of trade with the U.S.
The report also finds an average of between 51,000 and 66,000 lost job opportunities in the U.S. every year since 1995.
Among European nations, Germany was the biggest potential loser, with between $23.1 and $73 billion in missed economic opportunities.
“On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a proposal for ending the violence in Ukraine… Unfortunately, most Americans never heard what he had to say because the media failed to publish his statement. The reason for the omission is fairly obvious, the media doesn’t want people to know that Putin is not the ghoulish, authoritarian caricature he’s portrayed to be, but a levelheaded pragmatist who wants a swift and peaceful resolution to the crisis. “
““We think the most important thing now is to launch direct dialogue, genuine, full-fledged dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of southeast Ukraine. This dialogue could give people from southeast Ukraine the chance to see that their lawful rights in Ukraine really will be guaranteed.””
“Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel, was selected by Secretary of State John Kerry for the role of Special Envoy for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority…
…the Americans were hardly honest in their dealings with both parties. In fact, the US was not a third party at all, but was and remains steadfast in the Israeli camp. ..Martin Indyk, the prospective harbinger of peace, worked for the pro-Israeli lobby group AIPAC in 1982. AIPAC is a rightwing outlet that has invested unlimited funds and energy to impede any just and peaceful resolution to the conflict…Indyk’s most important contribution to Israel, however, was the founding of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) in 1985, another Israeli lobby outlet..” http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/24/moral-crisis-at-heart-of-obamas-peace/
This is because in Yemen (just as in Afghanistan or Pakistan) Al Qaeda fighters or those with almost identical attitude and methods are considered terrorists. Not however in Syria, where their existence and relevance is either denied or belittled. Thus, it is tolerated by the US, UK, France, Turkey and implicitly also by Israel that the Syrian Nusra Front is non other than the local branch of Al Qaeda and that most supposedly “moderate” rebel groups closely and regularly cooperate with the Nusra.
“the US intelligence community, since its well-known November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, has continued to be very clear on the pubic record about its conclusion that Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since 2003…The text of the indictment reveals that the reference to a “nuclear weapons program” was yet another iteration of a rhetorical device used often in the past to portray Iran’s gas centrifuge enrichment program as equivalent to the development of nuclear weapons.” http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2014/04/11/the-iranian-nuclear-weapons-program-that-wasnt/