Biden’s Promise To Restore The Iran Deal Would Be A Disaster In Waiting

Seena Saiedian


          By Seena Saiedian

            Published on The Federalist

                   September 7, 2020 

"The Obama Doctrine was anathema to U.S. interests in the Middle East. If Biden wins this November, policymakers should brace themselves for more blunders."

"Five years ago, the Obama administration made a gamble on a diplomatic experiment with Iran — a gamble that failed miserably. Unfortunately, the United States and its allies still live with the consequences of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Since the deal, Iran has ramped up its nuclear ambitions and used the billions of dollars of sanctions relief it received to bankroll its terrorist proxies and fuel regional instability. Now, Joe Biden promises to repeat the same mistakes by re-entering the nuclear deal if he is elected.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates famously stated that Biden has been “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” The nuclear deal with Iran is no exception.

In an article titled “Joe Biden’s world,” Damir Marusic explained that Biden’s fundamental foreign policy shortcoming is his fatal misunderstanding of diplomacy. Marusic argued that deals between adversaries are just “temporary” arrangements and “not the bedrock upon which lasting order is built.” The nuclear deal was antithetical to this principle; it provided the United States a false sense of security through a temporary agreement that was contingent on the goodwill and compliance of a regime that chants “death to America.”

The JCPOA provided an estimated $50-100 billion of sanctions relief to the Islamic Republic. This money was not spent on internal reforms. Instead, it was spent funding Iran’s regional expansion through terrorism and proxy conflicts in IraqSyriaYemen, and Lebanon.

Providing a windfall of cash to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism was a significant betrayal of America’s long-standing alliances in the Middle East. Most notably, it exacerbated national security concerns for Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have borne the brunt of the attacks by Iran-backed terrorist groups like Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Hamas.

Iran used the cash it received to sow regional instability by propping up the Assad regime in Syria, intensifying the conflict in Yemen, and attacking American allies. Secretary of State John Kerry even admitted that the money Iran received would “end up in the hands of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.”

Despite the certainty of emboldening Iran with the nuclear deal, the Obama administration argued that Iran’s nuclear ambitions were a more pressing concern than its regional meddling. There was just one issue: the nuclear deal utterly failed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

At its core, the nuclear deal depended on Iranian transparency and cooperation. It was, frankly, quite a great deal of faith to grant a rogue regime whose very existence is based on subverting American interests. Since the deal, Iran has violated restrictions on nuclear and ballistic development several times. As of June 2020, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that the regime is in violation of every JCPOA restriction on uranium stockpiles, enrichment activities, and ballistic missile testing.

Given the severe shortcomings and missteps of the nuclear deal, it’s no surprise that the Obama administration relied on aggressive media manipulation and deception to sell it to the public. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security advisor, boasted about creating an “echo chamber” by taking advantage of “inexperienced” journalists who “literally know nothing” and feeding them pro-Iran deal talking points.

Biden should not be allowed to sell a disastrous foreign policy by misinforming the American public again. His campaign promise of re-entering the nuclear deal would be even more disastrous than the initial agreement.

The deal was meant to be a temporary agreement and had several “sunset” clauses, meaning its restrictions would slowly expire starting in 2020. In October 2020, the arms embargo banning Iran from importing weapons from countries like China and Russia is set to expire. As restrictions expire, the nuclear deal will continue to lose its efficacy. A return to the JCPOA in a Biden administration would result in billions of dollars of sanctions relief in exchange for nothing from Iran.

The Obama doctrine was a disaster for American interests in the Middle East. If Biden wins the election in November, policymakers and the media must be wary of past blunders and missteps with Iran resurfacing. Democrats must hold his administration accountable and prevent a return to the policy of appeasing Iran. Failure to do so would embolden the regime’s nuclear, ballistic, and terrorist activities and undermine any hope of achieving peace in the Middle East."

Seena Saiedian is from Overland Park, KS. He is a student at UC Berkeley, where he founded Bears Against Fundamentalism. He is a member of the Organization of Iranian-American Communities’ Millennial Chapter, a human rights activist, and speaker. Follow him on Twitter @seena_ir

#Free on #kindle Five Days: Beneath A Stormy Cloud by @NaomiLitvin 10Sept-14Sept


Beneath A Stormy Cloud: Moving On Without Her by [Naomi Litvin, Edith Litvin]Beneath A Stormy Cloud: Moving On Without Her by [Naomi Litvin, Edith Litvin]Beneath A Stormy Cloud: Moving On Without Her by [Naomi Litvin, Edith Litvin]

#Free on #Kindle Five Days

Beneath A Stormy Cloud

by Naomi Litvin 


In her second book, Beneath A Stormy Cloud: Moving On Without Her, Naomi Litvin knit a jigsaw puzzle-like anthology of her mother’s poetry with her own juxtaposing responses.


Israeli Firefighters Arrive To Battle CA Wildfires

For the first time, Israeli firefighters have set foot on American soil to help suppress massive wildfires in Northern California.

A firefighter rubs his head while watching the LNU Lightning Complex fires spread through the Berryessa Estates neighborhood of unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. The blaze forced thousands to flee and destroyed hundreds of home
A firefighter rubs his head while watching the LNU Lightning Complex fires spread through the Berryessa Estates neighborhood of unincorporated Napa County, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020. The blaze forced thousands to flee and destroyed hundreds of home (Noah Berger | AP)

SACRAMENTO, CA — A team of 10 firefighters from Israel arrived in Sacramento Sunday to join the fight in suppressing some of the largest wildfires California has ever seen. This marks the first time Israelis have been deployed to fight fires in the United States, officials announced Monday.

The crew will help battle the massive wildfires in Northern California for the next two weeks.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg gave the crew a warm welcome Sunday.

The SCU Lightning Complex is the second largest wildfire in state history, which has burned 383,157 acres and is 60 percent contained. The LNU Lightning Complex, the third largest, which has burned 375,209 acres and is 63 percent contained.

Lebanon: Hariri verdict, a Russian-owned ship and Hezbollah-Israel animosity: Conspiracy theories abound over Beirut blast

In the Lebanese cesspool of corruption and mismanagement, the actual reason for the Beirut blast or the identity of men behind it may never be known

Aninda DeyTimes of India Reporter
 August 08, 2020 
Hariri verdict, a Russian-owned ship and Hezbollah-Israel  animosity: Conspiracy theories abound over Beirut blast

    The Beirut blast earlier this week has triggered a second chain reaction of devastation, conspiracy theories and outpouring of Lebanese anger on streets. The spotlight is back on the most well-equipped and dangerously armed global terrorist organisation, the Hezbollah, and its connection to the assassination of the country's Sunni prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri by its four suspected members in 2005.

    The apocalyptic mushroom cloud over Beirut on 4 August, which enveloped the Lebanese in fear and consternation, and killed more than 150 while injuring over 5,000, could push down the once-known "Paris of the Middle East" further into global isolation and earn more opprobrium, triggered by the Iran- and Syria-backed Shia terror group’s bloody past and its entrenchment in the corridors of power in Lebanon.

    The Hezbollah and its allies — Amal Movement, Maronite Christian Marada, Druze Lebanese Democratic Party, Baath Party, Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, Armenian Tashnag, Free Patriotic Movement (founded by current Maronite Christian President Michel Aoun) and a few independents — command 70 seats in the Parliament of Lebanon. With the selection of Hassan Diab as the Prime Minister of Lebanon, the guerilla group's grip over the government has become dangerously firm.

    The Hariri mruder trial theory

    The nuke-like explosion, whose impact was felt as far as Cyprus, occurred three days before a UN-backed tribunal was slated to deliver verdict on Hariri’s assassination that could have indicted the four Hezbollah members — Hussein Hassan Oneissi, Hassan Habib Merhi, Salim Jamil Ayyash and Assad Hassan Sabra. Following the devastating explosion, the verdict has been postponed to 18 August.

    It is pretty illogical to expect the Hezbollah to give up its four members, who disappeared from public life years ago. The explosion could be connected to the verdict, which would have pressured the terror group to turn over the four members. When Hariri was killed, mass demonstration and sectarian strife engulfed Lebanon, which itself faced global pressure.

    While the former prime minister son Saad Hariri was looking “forward to 7 August (the verdict day) being a day of truth and justice for Lebanon and a day of punishment for the criminals”, Hezbollah-backed Diab clearly stated that he wants no further turmoil and strive that could be triggered by such verdicts.

    Though the possibility of an accident triggering the blast cannot be ruled out, it would be naïve to assume that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at Beirut Port would blow up like that just three days before the verdict. Hariri, who was backed by the West and Sunni Gulf Arab countries, was killed along with 21 others by a truck carrying 3,000 kilogrammes of explosives 2 kilometres away from the warehouse blast site.

    Foreign hand in a 'Hezbollah managed' port?

    The aftermath of Tuesday's blast has become murky with Aoun indicating a foreign hand in the bloody temblor. The Lebanese president said that investigators would probe “possibility of external interference through a rocket or bomb or other act” or whether it was caused due to negligence or accident.

    Israel denied any involvement immediately after the blast, yet conspiracy theorists pointed out that Israel could have triggered the blast. Hezbollah had threatened to retaliate against the killing of its member Ali Kamel Mohsen in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus International Airport in the last week of July.

    The explosionis no doubt an intricate and deadly concoction of conspiracy theories — even US President Donald Trump termed the blast as an "attack" — but one can also not point out the mismanagement of such a dangerous stockpile of a chemical used in terrorist strikes and the intention behind its storage at the port, which, like others, is controlled by the Hezbollah.

    Hariri verdict a Russianowned ship and HezbollahIsrael  animosity Conspiracy theories abound over Beirut blast

    A Lebanese army helicopter flies over the scene where an explosion hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. AP

    Four years ago, Danny Danon, then-Israeli ambassador to the UN, had warned the UN Security Council (UNSC) that the Beirut Port is “now the Port of Hezbollah” with Iran supplying arms to the group by exploiting “civilian maritime channels (the port)".

    According to The Jerusalem Post, Danon told the UNSC that Israel found that “Iran and the Quds Force (the secretive elite unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards) have begun to advance the exploitation of the civilian maritime channels, and specifically the Port of Beirut, by sending dual-use items into Lebanon to advance Hezbollah’s rocket and missile capabilities and conversion programme”.

    The Hezbollah-Russia link

    A sinister angle to the ‘Beirut’s apocalypse’ was the sudden diversion of the Moldovan-flagged ship, the MS Rhosus, which started from Georgia to deliver the ammonium nitrate to Mozambique-based explosives company Fábrica de Explosivos de Moçambique (FEM), to Beirut in 2013.

    The ship’s owner Russian business Igor Grechushkin, who stays in Cyprus and has already been questioned after the blast, had told its Russian and Ukrainian crew that he was bankrupt and asked them to load extra cargo to cover the travel costs, according to CNN. But the crew refused to load the extra cargo as it was too heavy, forcing the MV Rhosus to drop anchor for several days.

    Ultimately, the ship was impounded at Beirut Port for failing to pay port fees, “gross violations in operating a vessel and complaints filed by the crew”, according to the Seafarers’ Union of Russia, the CNN reported.

    Grechushkin abandoned the ship and its crew. The ship’s Captain Boris Prokoshev's several letters to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking for help went unanswered.

    The MV Rhosus never reached Mozambique and the ammonium nitrate had been lying at the warehouse since 2014. According to The New York Times, the leaking ship finally sank at a short distance from the blast site in February 2018.

    On the non-delivery of the chemical, a spokesperson of FEM told CNN that “it is not common”.

    According to a CNN source, “It’s a dangerous material; it’s a very powerful oxidiser and is used for producing explosives. But it’s not like gunpowder that you just light a match and it will immediately go off like pyrotechnics.”

    What makes the whole episode of a ship loaded with 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate and owned by a Russian businessman making a detour to Beirut and anchoring there suspicious is the proximity of Russia to Syria and the Hezbollah. Also, Russia never designated the Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation.

    Hariri verdict a Russianowned ship and HezbollahIsrael  animosity Conspiracy theories abound over Beirut blast

    Lebanese army soldiers stand guard at the scene where an explosion hit on Tuesday the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. AP

    In 2015, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov categorically said that the country doesn’t consider Hezbollah — “a legitimate socio-political force elected by people to the Lebanese Parliament” — a terrorist organisation because it had never committed any acts of terrorism on Russian territory. Several countries, including the US, the UK, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the European Union and Israel have designated the group as a terrorist organisation.

    It is unlikely that the chemical was stored without the knowledge of the Hezbollah, which has a vast intelligence network. Though Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah has vehemently rubbished claims that the terror group had stored missiles or bombs or ammonium nitrate at the warehouse, the guerrillas were busted in several countries — London, Berlin, Thailand, Cyprus and Bulgaria — for storing the deadly chemical and its top operatives were targeted by the Israeli Air Force for stashing Iranian long-range rockets and missiles in their homes.

    Hezbollah known to store ammonium nitrate

    Hezbollah, whose main goal is destruction of Israel, is notorious for storing ammonium nitrate in several countries to strike Israeli targets or kill Jews. In 2015, the London Metropolitan Police and the MI5 discovered three metric tonnes of the chemical kept in ice packs in a storehouse in London.

    The Shia militia group also used the same technique to store the chemical in Germany between 2012 and 2016. With Mossad’s help, Germany discovered hundreds of kilogrammes of ammonium nitrate stored by Hezbollah early this year and finally designated it as a terrorist group.

    Hariri verdict a Russianowned ship and HezbollahIsrael  animosity Conspiracy theories abound over Beirut blast

    According to the The Telegraph, the ammonium nitrate discovered in 2015 was to be used for “proper organised terrorism” and the MI5 arrested a man for allegedly planning terrorist attacks — though not in the UK.

    In 2015, Hezbollah’s military wing member Hussein Bassam Abdallah was jailed for six years in Cyprus after pleading to terror charges and for storing 8.2 tonnes of ammonium nitrate for three years in his house.

    Abdallah “played the role assigned to him within the broader design of things so that eventually Hezbollah would be able to harm through terrorist attacks, Israeli interests in Cyprus”, Judge Nicolaos Santis said.

    In fact, in a speech broadcast by the Lebanese Naharnet news website in 2016, Nasrallah threatened to bomb the ammonia storage tanks in the northern Israeli port city of Haifa which would be “exactly as a nuclear bomb”.

    “We can say that Lebanon today has a nuclear bomb. Any rocket that might hit these tanks is capable of creating a nuclear bomb effect,” he said, The Times of Israel reported. Subsequently, Israel removed the ammonia tanks from Haifa.

    If the port explosion wasn’t an accident, the real culprits would never be apprehended considering the domination of the Hezbollah in the government and the way investigations crawl in Lebanon — a case in point is the Hariri assassination; it has been 15 years but the killers have not been nabbed.

    Since the blasts rocked Beirut on Tuesday,more than 16 people have been arrested, including Lebanese customs department chief Badri Daher and his predecessor and Shafik Mehri and the port’s general manager Hassan Koraytem. However, in the Lebanese cesspool of corruption and mismanagement, the actual reason for the blast or the identity of men behind may never be known.

    Updated Date: 

    UpdateLebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced his and his entire cabinet's resignation today, six days after the Beirut blast that killed more than 160, insured thousands and was followed by an intense uprising of protest by the people of Lebanon.

    From Israel's Perspective: A Proxy War in Libya

    In the next few weeks you will see visits from Greece and Cypress
    Naomi Litvin
    to Israel, recently delayed because of Corona Virus. How does that link Libya to Israel? In the posted video, from Israel's perspective, the proxy war is explained. That Libya is peripheral to the middle eastern core and despite Israel's seemingly ignoring much of the current events in Libya, the united view of the situation is eloquently stated.
     Libya is much more important to us than most Israelis realize... because it is now the linchpin of the fight between Egypt and Turkey.
    Did Israel neglect Libya to some extent because of limited resources? The failure of Israel to discern the prior situation of Libya's nuclear energy aspirations in the 1990's is also discussed.

    A big take away from the conversation is the Turkey/Egypt quotient between Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with his grandiose Islamic agenda and Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who has been supporting opposition terrorist Haftar in taking over Libya. Now, with Haftar's impending doom, Sisi is spinning that support into a cease fire and peace plan.

    Also, Russia's interference illustrates that President Vladimir Putin as well as Turkey's Erdogan know how to exploit Libya with the import of weapons into Libya; and involve Europe with the export of immigrants through Libya into EU, Italy and other countries. All this mayhem was made easier since the West abandoned Libya after the fall of despotic Muammar al-Gaddafi, former prime minister of Libya.

    #IsraelNews #tv7israelnews #newsupdates 

    Libya’s conflict and strategic significance – Jerusalem Studio 522 •Jun 12, 2020

    Killed October 20, 2011

    Can King Abdullah stop Israel's annexation of Jordan Valley and potential Palestinian takeover of Jordan?

    Follow Naomi Litvin on twitter

    King Abdullah can huff and puff but can he blow down the house of Israel when Israel annexes East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria? I don't think so. Besides putting the United States of America in an uncomfortable position, King Abdullah is currently a bad actor, being an illegal arms dealer to the rebel faction in Libya, General Haftar. The United Nations and USA support the Libya Government of National Accord (GNA) currently in a full blown war with Haftar. 
    Libya's Haftar seeks to train forces in Jordan | Jamal J. Halaby | AW
    King Abdullah with General Haftar
    Regarding Israel, Abdullah has worried since Donald Trump became President of the United States, as Barack Obama was more simpatico with his view of Israel and the Palestinians. And current Secretary Pompeo has been adament on his continued support of Israel. No treaty exists between the USA and Jordan, yet Jordan receives tremendous aid from us. For a country with no natural resources, Jordan depends on charity and arms sales to other terrorists in his region for its sustenance. 
    "The United States is Jordan’s single largest provider of bilateral assistance, providing over $1.7 billion in 2017, including $1.3 billion in bilateral foreign assistance and over $200 million in Department of Defense (DoD) support. In addition to bilateral foreign assistance, the United States has provided nearly $1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance to support Syrian refugees in Jordan."

    Amihai is a young man from Haifa, Israeli and a friend on Twitter who will soon enter the Israeli Defense Forces. He states the widely held Israeli opionion.

    #Jordan's king is afraid that such situation can cause another #Palestinian revolt against the Hashemite kingdom, similar to the Black September events in 1970, which will put Abdullah's regime in high risk.

    Abdullah is also afraid from what is known in #Israel as the "alternative homeland" solution, where #Jordan, with 70% of its population being #Palestinian, will be seen as the Palestinian country.
    If such solution gains any Int' support, that may be the end of Abdullah's regime.

    Below I have posted the names of the towns, cities, and communities to be annexed by Israel in East Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria