President Trump’s selection of the Neocon “godfather” of the Iraq War and Islamophobe John Bolton as his National Security advisor, Trump betrays his supporters with John Bolton pick, signaling more ‘stupid wars’, and fellow Islamophobe Mike Pompeo narrowly confirmed as Secretary of State last week, Pompeo as secretary of state makes Mideast war more likely, makes recertification of the Iran Nuclear Deal on or before the May 12 deadline unlikely, despite pleas from the other major powers to the agreement for the U.S. to honor its commitment to the Iran Nuclear Deal. U.S. allies press Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive:
Western allies stepped up pressure on U.S. President Donald Trump to keep alive an international nuclear deal with Iran,
Trump has said that unless European allies fix what he has called its “terrible flaws” by May 12, he will restore U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, which would be a severe blow to the pact.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who was in the U.S. last week for a state visit and addressed a joint session of Congress (video), emphasized there was no “Plan B” for keeping a lid on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
And then there is this old Neocon war monger who, like Trump, is the subject of a criminal investigation by his attorney general’s office, who would welcome the distraction and nationalistic unifying effect of yet another Mideast war:
Trump’s opposition to the deal has been welcomed by Israel, which has rejected the pact since it was being hammered out under former U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.
“Israel will not allow regimes that seek our annihilation to acquire nuclear weapons. This is why we opposed so resolutely the Iran deal, because it gives Iran a clear path to a nuclear arsenal,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a speech to foreign diplomats on Monday in Jerusalem.
Listing objections, Netanyahu added, “This is why this deal has to be either fully fixed or fully nixed.”
With all the appearances of the same orchestrated cooked intelligence claims about Iraq’s previous nuclear program, long abandoned, that led to the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, Israel Says Secret Files Prove Iran Lied About Nuclear Program:
Revealing a huge archive of stolen Iranian nuclear plans that dated back more than a decade, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accused Iran on Monday of lying for years about its efforts to build a nuclear weapon, days before President Trump is to decide whether to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
In a highly theatrical presentation, Mr. Netanyahu showed samples of what he said was half a ton of records Israeli spies obtained from a secret warehouse in Tehran, making the case that Iranian leaders had deceived the world and the International Atomic Energy Agency when they insisted their nuclear program was for peaceful purposes. The documents were seized in an overnight raid on the warehouse in January, a senior Israeli official said.
But Mr. Netanyahu did not provide any evidence of violations by Iran since the deal went into effect in early 2016, suggesting that the Israeli prime minister — who has adamantly opposed the deal since its inception, and even went to the American Congress to try to block it — was hoping that the disclosures of Iran’s deceit would provide a basis for President Trump to follow through on his threats to scuttle the agreement on May 12.
Mr. Trump, speaking at a Rose Garden news conference minutes after Mr. Netanyahu’s presentation, gave no indication of whether he would scrap the deal or continue his effort to force the European partners who helped negotiate it — Britain, France and Germany — to try to reopen it.
“In seven years, that deal will have expired, and Iran will be free to make nuclear weapons,” Mr. Trump said, incorrectly stating the terms of the deal. While some restrictions on Iran are relaxed starting in about seven years, Iran cannot make nuclear fuel until 2030, and it is never permitted to make nuclear weapons: It has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which bans it from weapons production. “Seven years is tomorrow,” Mr. Trump added.
Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, a top Iranian negotiator of the nuclear agreement, called Mr. Netanyahu’s remarks “a very childish and even a ridiculous play.”
In a telephone interview with state-run television, he said Mr. Netanyahu’s presentation was “a prearranged show with the aim of impacting Trump’s decision, or perhaps it is a coordinated plan by him and Trump in order to destroy the J.C.P.O.A.,” the initials of the nuclear agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
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Mr. Netanyahu, speaking from the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, said “These files conclusively prove that Iran is brazenly lying when it said it never had a nuclear weapons program,” (past tense) Mr. Netanyahu said, pointing to copies of what he said were 55,000 printed pages and 183 compact discs.
He said Israel had passed the information on to the United States, which “can vouch for its authenticity.”
Mr. Netanyahu said that Iran had intensified its efforts to hide evidence of its weapons program after signing the nuclear deal in 2015, and in 2017, moved its records to a secret location in Tehran that looked like “a dilapidated warehouse.”
“Few Iranians knew where it was, very few,” Mr. Netanyahu said proudly. “And also a few Israelis.”
The senior Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a secret mission, said that Israel’s Mossad intelligence service discovered the warehouse in February 2016, and had the building under surveillance since then.
Mossad operatives broke into the building one night last January, removed the original documents and smuggled them back to Israel the same night, the official said.
President Trump was informed of the operation by the Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, on a visit to Washington in January, the official said. The official attributed the delay in making the material public to the time it took to analyze the documents, the vast majority of which were in Persian.
But the Iranian program to design and build nuclear weapons was hardly a secret; its existence was the reason that the United States, under President George W. Bush and then President Barack Obama, moved to block it. Both presidents said publicly that Iran had a bomb project underway, and the United States mounted, with Israel, a vast covert program to undermine the Iranian effort with one of the world’s most sophisticated cyber attacks. See, The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Plant.
American intelligence agencies concluded in 2007 that Iran suspended the active portion of the bomb effort after the beginning of the Iraq war, in 2003, and Mr. Netanyahu confirmed that in his presentation. But he said that other elements of what Iran had called “Project Amad” went ahead, directed by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist.
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A decade ago, in early 2008, the chief inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency gathered diplomats from around the world to a meeting at the agency’s Vienna headquarters and showed them images from a similar trove, including sketches of bomb designs and memos and budget documents from Mr. Fakhrizadeh’s project. That presentation included sketches of a “spherical device” that could be detonated using high explosives, similar to plans Mr. Netanyahu showed on Monday.
The I.A.E.A. presentation included documents showing the arc of a missile that detonates a warhead at an altitude of about 600 meters, roughly that at which the Hiroshima bomb was detonated.
Mr. Netanyahu went beyond that on Monday, and brandished what he described as Iranian plans to build up to five nuclear weapons.
But he cited no evidence that those plans were pursued.
Under the nuclear deal that Secretary of State John Kerry reached in the summer of 2015 in Vienna, Iran was required to ship about 97 percent of its nuclear fuel out of the country — a task it accomplished the next year — and to dismantle all but a small portion of the nuclear centrifuges that enrich uranium.
Mr. Netanyahu’s best case for a violation of the Iran deal came when he insisted that the Iranians had falsified their declarations to the I.A.E.A. in late 2015, by denying they had ever planned to build a weapon.
Still, even that would come as little shock to those who negotiated the deal: In effect, the agreement was made possible by allowing Iran to lie about the past, while imposing verification on it for the future.
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Mr. Netanyahu is awaiting what is likely to be an indictment on corruption charges. He is damaged politically, and has counted for his political survival on being seen as the only leader who can be trusted to keep Israelis safe. He has been agitating single-mindedly against the nuclear deal, even at the risk of fraying Israel’s close ties with the United States during the Obama administration.
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Mohammad Marandi, a University of Tehran professor who is close to Iran’s leaders and participated in the nuclear talks in Vienna, said that Israel had “fabricated evidence” before and might have again. He called the timing of the Israeli disclosure suspect, and raised the idea that it might have been orchestrated in cooperation with the Trump administration.
“It’s very convenient to bring this up two weeks before the decision on the nuclear deal is made,” Mr. Marandi said. “No one in their right mind will take this seriously, unless there is a prearranged deal with the White House.”
A senior Israeli official said that Israel’s government believed that Mr. Trump had already decided to abandon the nuclear agreement. Israel was thus not hoping to “pressure” Mr. Trump by publicizing evidence of Iran’s lies but rather to “support” him, the official said.
The official also said that Mr. Netanyahu had intended to publicize the Iranian nuclear files a day later, but moved it up partly in response to missile strikes in Syria late Sunday night, for which suspicion has fallen on Israel. The Israeli government calculated that Iran would feel less confident in retaliating militarily, possibly setting off a full-fledged regional war, if it were on the defensive in the international arena.
We have seen this play before. Trust no one. The Neocons lied us into an unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, and they have long desired to get their war on with Iran. “Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran,” said a senior Bush official in May 2003.
They have learned nothing from the consequences of the humanitarian disaster they unleashed in the Middle East with their Neocon war of conquest in Iraq.