Steve’s great portraits

Originally posted on Steve McCurry's Blog:

Portraits reveal a desire for human connection;
a desire so strong that people who know they will never see me again
open themselves to the camera,  all in the hope that at the other end
someone will be watching,

someone who will laugh or suffer with them.

00735_19, Rajasthan, India, 2010, INDIA-11024. An elderly man from the Rabari Tribe. MAX PRINT SIZE: 40x60 India_Book final print_MACRO final print_Sao Paulo final_Last Roll of Kodachrome Fine Art Print retouched_Sonny Fabbri 12/2015India

A true portrait should today and a hundred years from today,
be the testimony of how this person
looked and what kind of human being he or she was.
– Philippe Halsman, 1906 – 1979

DSC_7400, Omo Valley, Ethiopia, 08/2013, ETHIOPIA-10319NF. Child with wreath of leaves around head. retouched_Kate Daigneault 08/20/2013Ethiopia

As human beings we are fascinated with each other and how we look.
Diane Arbus talked about the gap between intention and effect as revealed in portraiture.
People put on make-up and adorn themselves because they want to create an
effect and give a certain impression.

DSC_7133; Etnia; South Africa; 2013. A woman with blue sunglasses and black hat. retouched_Ekaterina Savtsova;South Africa

Photography and the genre of portraiture have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship.
From the beginning of depiction, the…

View original 371 more words

A Brutally HYPOCRITICAL Jimmy Carter Calls Out Israel on Apartheid – NationofChange GOT IT WRONG



It is indeed a shame that Jimmy Carter is calling out Israel on Apartheid when segregation in the US schools is worse today than in 1968, or 1960.
When there is a aneed active civil movement  because ‘Black life matters’ , since police brutality and African American deaths at the hands of police are out of control and with legal justification following unexplainable traffic stops.
A country where one party’s presidential nomonees’ political harangue border on mental and social collapse and extremes.
A country where the native population has been disenfranchised and ignored for generations and still treated on the way to oblivion and no provision are made to restore their natural rights.
A country that imposed political solution with no regard to national aspirations of local aspirations of the population all over the world and this individual on the pay and service of the oil cartel and OPEC claims to be objective coming from the deep south of THE USA where  slavery and secessionist policy were celebrated for generation claims now to have a moral right to call on israel?

Carter must be no less than a joke perhaps is cancer is getting to him and I hate to say he sold his soul and conscience for money even very big money OIL MONEY check it out.



A strong historical perspective.
Simcha Jacobovici is a Canadian-Israeli filmmaker and journalist. He is a three-time Emmy winner for “Outstanding Investigative Journalism” and a New York Times best-selling author. He’s also an adjunct professor in the Department of Religion at Huntington University, Ontario.

If the world is now a “global village”, Israel is the new Jewish ghetto, and the anti-Semites are sharpening their knives – planning their final pogrom. This isn’t Jewish paranoia. This is fact. The evidence is so stark that the very act of denying it is a form of anti-Semitism – a form of obfuscating the danger.
>>>> In our topsy-turvy world Israel, the Jewish State, is a racist, colonialist nation that needs to be isolated, ostracized and done away with. The Palestinians are the victims of the Jews, suffering a fate equal to the Holocaust. In this scenario – which is the increasingly accepted global narrative – the Israelis are the Nazis and the Palestinians are the real Jews.
>>>> The very existence of this warped reality is metaphysical in its implications. Meaning, since there is no normal explanation for the global lie concerning the Jewish State, the only way to account for this mass psychosis is that we have once again entered the “twilight zone” of anti-Semitism gone berserk. In this space, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main problem of our planet. But the fact is that over the past century the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed less than 50,000 lives. In contrast, the civil war in Syria has claimed over a quarter of a million people in the last four years alone.
>>>> While the world focuses on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, millions of people around the world have died in unmarked graves. Their deaths have hardly been noticed. For example, over half a million people have been killed in Darfur. And yet, few people even know where Darfur is. In the Congo, in the 21st century alone, some 5 million Africans have died and yet hardly anyone talks about them, much less cares about them.
>>>> Then there is the matter of refugees. There were 700,000 Palestinian refugees in 1948. There was an equal number of Jews that fled from Arab lands. Why is the world not obsessed with the Jewish refugees? In fact, why is the world not obsessed with any refugees except the Palestinians? At this very moment, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 3 million refugees that have fled Syria and another 6.5 million displaced in Syria itself. That’s almost 10 million Arabs that nobody gives a hoot about. Why?
>>>> As unpleasant as it may seem to the civilized part of this planet, the answer is simple. The world doesn’t care about Africans, Arabs or Palestinians. What a good part of this planet is obsessed with is Jews. If the Palestinians were fighting the Sudanese, nobody would care about them just as no one cares about the oppressed Christians of Sudan. As another group, nobody cares about the Kurds. After all, the Kurds are unlucky enough to be fighting Turks, not Jews. If they started fighting Jews, however, the world would suddenly take notice.
>>>> But as the flames of anti-Semitism lick ever closer to the Jewish state, the political, religious and economic leadership of the Jewish people are blissfully clued out. Here’s the irony; the modern Jewish state was created out of the ashes of Auschwitz so as to “normalize” Jewish life. Israelis have been brought up to believe that Israel is as “normal” as Greece or Italy. As a result, Israelis are the least equipped people in the world to smell anti-Semitism. That’s why Israelis live under the delusion that their present predicament i.e., their isolation, is the result of bad politics. It’s not. It’s anti-Semitism. But we can be more precise. The late philosopher Emil Fackenheim didn’t like the pseudo-scientific term “anti-Semitism” because it masks what we are really talking about. He insisted on the term “Jew hatred”. And that’s what Israel’s present predicament is all about.
>>>> When modern Israel was born in 1948, the Vatican’s mouthpiece L’Osservatore Romano wrote that the Jews could no longer reclaim Biblical Israel because “the Holy Land and its sacred sites belong to Christianity, the True Israel”. According to this narrative, the Jews – ancient Israel – should no longer exist because they have been updated and replaced by the “True Israel”. The Vatican was expressing what is becoming ever more popular: the fundamental rejection of the right of the Jewish people to a state of their own. After modern Israel was born, it took the Vatican 45 years to “recognize” the Jewish State. But last month the “Holy See” recognized the Palestinian state even before its creation. In the most bizarre part of this twisted recognition, Pope Francis referred to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace”. This is the same Abbas who is a Holocaust denier, stands at the head of a terror organization that invented airplane hijacking and has driven practically all Christians out of the territories where he rules, including Bethlehem.
>>>> Then there is the flip side of Vatican-style Jew hatred. You know the kind; that’s the anti-Semitism that declares that some of its best friends are Jews. Lets take U.S. President Obama, for example. No doubt, he has many Jewish friends and colleagues. He is the first president to celebrate Passover at the White House and only last month he addressed a conservative synagogue in Washington D.C. But at the end of the day, what is his message? His message is that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the central problem of the Middle East and, by implication, of the planet.
>>>> For 20 years, Obama sat quietly in the pews of Jeremiah Wright’s Church listening to his pastor’s anti-Semitic rants. And now, he is really angry at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s obsession with Iran. Think about it. Less than 70 years after the Holocaust, Iran is building nuclear bombs with the express purpose of incinerating Israel’s 8 million citizens and Obama is livid with Israel. What other country on this planet is facing the threat of nuclear annihilation? And what would any other country, including the United States, do if it found itself in Israel’s life and death predicament? Would it bet on Iranian rationality? Of course it wouldn’t. But for the Jews there is another standard all together.
>>>> It would seem that things, at the moment, can’t get worse, but they can. As practically every Arab state is collapsing in a heap of blood, guts and decapitated heads, Obama’s oft-repeated foreign policy goal is to create yet another failed Arab state – Palestine. Why? Even Hamas, the dictatorial rulers of Gaza, have made it clear that they don’t want a state, which they consider a Western invention. What they explicitly want is a launching pad from which to destroy Israel and create an Islamic Republic.But Obama doesn’t care. He’s going to give the Palestinians a state whether they want one or not, whether they deserve one or not, and whether its existence will further destabilize an already volatile region. Because, as should already be clear, it’s not about the Palestinians – it’s all about the Jews.
>>>> And what are Jews doing about all this? Well, nothing. Israel’s leaders don’t even realize that the noose is tightening. While billions of dollars are spent by Israel’s enemies to demonize and marginalize Israel in the media, on campuses and in the corridors of power, the Israelis counter with “spokespeople” whose only expertise is that they have heavy accents when they speak English. As for Israel’s friends abroad, some of them spend their time “defending” Israel. This is a nice thing, but it’s a losing proposition. As any sport coach can tell you; if you only play defense, you can’t win.
>>>> And here is a curious fact: many Jews in America are not interested in defending Israel or promoting her. They don’t want Israel to win in her struggle with her enemies. For example, most Jews in America support Obama and his lethal obsession with the Jewish State. Organizations such as J-Street claim to love Israel while routinely criticizing its elected officials. Why? In order to save Israelis from themselves, they say. These Jewish Uncle Toms express their tough love of Israel by routinely dumping on the Jewish State. “We’re not like those Jews,” they seem to be saying, “We’re different. We’re just like you.”
>>>> This self-hate phenomenon is not new. Prior to WWII, many Nazi SS officers had Jewish lovers. These were the “good Jews”, the ones that didn’t look too Jewish and understood why German nationalists would find orthodox Jews disgusting. Even Hitler had a favourite Jew – a family doctor – and he never forgot to send this “good Jew” a birthday greeting.
>>>> Like the pre-Holocaust collaborators, America’s Jewish Uncle Toms are not concerned with Jewish existential realities. They don’t care that millennia-old Jewish communities are dying. As I write these words, the Jews of Yemen are no more. The Jews of Iraq, Egypt, and even France have disappeared or are in the process of disappearing. But there is no American Jewish protest movement on behalf of oppressed Jews around the world. The progressives are not concerned about the fate of their persecuted co-religionists.
>>>> We’ve seen this Jewish self-hate before. During the Inquisition, Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor himself, was a Jew. He loved Jews so much he wanted to convert them to Christianity under torture, so as to save his brethren’s souls. Even earlier, during the Great Jewish Revolt of 66-70 CE, while hundreds of thousands of Jews were being crucified by the Romans, while Jerusalem was being besieged and the Holy Temple burned, the second in command of the Roman army was none other than the Jewish aristocrat Tiberius Julius Alexander. He loved the Jewish people, but he hated what he considered extremist Jews. He expressed his love of Jews by destroying their state.
>>>> Today, the spirit of Tiberius Julius Alexander lives on. Many Israelis are more agitated about Jewish settlements in ancient Judea, then a nuclear-armed Iran. It’s quite incredible, really, that 80% of British Mandate Palestine should be under Arab Jordanian rule and yet rational people can still say that there is no Palestine. 90% of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are presently under Arab rule. And yet, people can still say that Jews are oppressing them. It’s actually incredible that over 1.5 million Arabs can live in Israel and sit in its parliament while not a single Jew can live under Palestinian jurisdiction. Let me clarify; even though Jews have lived in the Land of Israel for some 3,500 years, there is not a single Jew living in the territories administered by the “angel of peace”. More than this, there is not even a single dead Jew. Every Jewish cemetery under Palestinian rule has been desecrated. There is not a single Jewish tombstone that still stands erect.
>>>> Once again, the Jewish State and the Jewish people stand alone. Once again, Jewish existence is on a knife’s edge.
>>>> What to do? Fight back. Stop apologizing. Stop defending. Stop burying our collective heads in the sand. You can’t convince the Jew haters. You can’t embrace them, have sex with them or celebrate Passover together. All you can do is fight them toe-to-toe. You have to fight them in the media, you have to fight them on campuses, you have to fight them in the corridors of power – you can never surrender.You have to call them for what they are and you have to put them on the defensive. Remind the decent people of the world, for example, that Israel’s enemies practice clitorectomy. Remind them that millions of Arab girls are pinned to kitchen tables and have their clitorises cut off by family members wielding steak knives. This is the face of Israel’s enemies. They decapitate those who oppose them. They murder minorities, they throw gays off tall buildings, they rape little girls, they destroy archaeology, they crucify Christians, they don’t hesitate to use gas, terror or any other weapon that can wreak havoc with the civilized world and they cut the clitorises of their own children. They are not interested in “states” – not even Arab states – not even “Palestine”. They want to create an evil empire. They are interested in creating Islamic republics or caliphates that are ruled by an ideology of death. To support them and oppose Israel is to be on the wrong side of an apocalyptic war.
>>>> And this war needs funding. Israel’s supporters generally and the Jewish state specifically must fund an army of well-trained PR warriors to engage the enemy at every turn. All the money in the world will not make Jew lovers out of Jew haters. But it will bloody their nose, move decent people to the right side of this conflict and ensure that Israel and the Jewish people survive.




Kuwaiti Columnist addressing The Gulf States’ Real Enemy Is Iran; Israel Is A Friendly Country


In an article titled “A Prudent Enemy Is Better than An Imprudent One” in the Kuwaiti government daily Al-Watan, columnist ‘Abdallah Al-Hadlaq wrote that the real enemy of the Gulf states is not Israel, whom he called “a friendly country,” but rather Iran. He argued that Iran’s Rule of the Jurisprudent regime is fascist, and that if it attains nuclear weapons it will not hesitate to use it against the Gulf states, whereas Israel, which has possessed such weapons for years, has never used them in its wars against the Arabs. Al-Hadlaq even called upon the Gulf states to sever their ties with Iran and form an alliance with Israel by strengthening their ties with it on the political, commercial and even military levels.
This is not the first time Al-Hadlaq has expressed concern regarding Iran and, conversely, support for Israel. In fact, his position led him to be included on a blacklist of Arab writers who espouse such views, published in 2009 by papers and websites that support the resistance axis.
The following are excerpts from Al-Hadlaq’s recent article:

“To all those who think the Persian state (Iran), and the regime of the Rule of the Imprudent, [namely] the dictatorial fascist Persian regime which controls it, is a friendly country, whereas Israel is an enemy country, I say that a prudent enemy is better than an imprudent one. The state of Israel and its various governments have waged more than five wars with the Arabs, yet never in the course of these wars did Israel think to use its nuclear weapons against its Arab enemies. Conversely, if the Persian state, with its stupid, rash and fascist regime that hides behind a religious guise, ever develops nuclear weapons, it will not hesitate to use nuclear bombs against the Arab Gulf states in the first conflict that arises.”

From the MEMRI daily news letter!



 The Moral Disintegration of Jimmy Carter By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach    @OBSERVER

| 08/11/14 10:00am

COMMENT  For years I have been defending Jimmy Carter against charges of anti-Semitism. Maybe I just didn’t want to believe that a President of the United States – the freest country in the world – could dislike Jews. So I chalked up his animus toward Israel and his awful accusations of Israeli apartheid to a faulty moral compass. Even the other day on NewsMax TV my friend Steve Malzberg asked me point blank if Jimmy Carter is an anti-Semite and I said no, blaming his inane statements on Israel to his being what Vladimir Lenin described as ‘a useful idiot.’ Mr. Carter always sides with the weaker party in a conflict notwithstanding their immorality. Let us never forget that the Carter Administration tried to seat the exiled Khmer Rouge as the rightful government of Cambodia even though they slaughtered one out of three Cambodians in the 1975-78 genocide. For Mr. Carter, weakness was itself a sign of righteousness. But Mr. Carter’s recent accusations of Israeli war crimes, his demand for a United Nations investigation into Israel’s actions in Gaza, and his call for Hamas – a genocidal terror organization – to be recognized as a legitimate political partner by Israel is making it near impossible not to ascribe to Carter some nasty feelings toward the Jewish state. Where is Mr. Carter’s call for the world to recognize the legitimacy of Al Qaida or the Taliban? Why isn’t Mr. Carter calling on Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to recognize the legitimacy of Boko Haram? Why is it only the Jews who have to recognize the legitimacy of the terror organizations sworn to their annihilation? Mr. Carter’s pronouncements on the Middle East have become so toxic that had he not once been the American Commander-in-Chief they would be dismissed as the ravings of a man utterly out of touch with reality. But notwithstanding all the damage to his credibility, and notwithstanding his own grandson Jason, currently running to be Governor of Georgia, basically asking him to shut up, he remains obsessed with the Jews and Israel. While ISIS is trying to carry out the slaughter of Yazidis and Christians in Iraq, while Libya descends into a hellish morass of violence, and while hundreds of thousands die in Syria, Jimmy Carter remains fixated on the crimes of the Jewish state. I grew up in the United States during the 1970’s when we danced to disco music, wore leisure suits, and watched the Brady Bunch. But as if that weren’t torture enough, we had Jimmy Carter as president. I can still recall how depressing it was to watch his taciturn face announcing one catastrophe after another, from the skyrocketing misery index, to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, to the capture of our hostages in Iran, to the tragically botched rescue attempt to free them. Fortune did not smile on Jimmy Carter and he was, poor thing, hapless at nearly everything he touched. But Mr. Carter’s biggest failing was to be bereft of a moral compass. To be sure, his heart wished to do good. It’s just that his head was often confused as to what the good was. Throughout his career he invariably found himself defending tyrants

and dictators at the expense of their oppressed peoples, not because he was insensitive but because he was confused. Mr. Carter always subscribed to what my friend Michael Scroccaro calls ‘Underdogma,’ a knew-jerk reaction to champion the cause of the underdog however immoral the party. Poverty dictates virtue and weakness dictates righteousness. So, if the Israelis have jets and the Palestinians only rockets then that must necessarily mean that the Israelis are the aggressor. Mr. Carter’s underdog obsession is what motivated him to legitimize Fidel Castro and take his side in a bio-weapons dispute with the United States and to praise North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung with the words: “I find him to be vigorous, intelligent,…and in charge of the decisions about this country.” This is the Korean dictator who, together with the tyrannical son who succeeded him, starved to death about 3 million of their own people. Carter added absurdly, “I don’t see that they [the North Koreans] are an outlaw nation.” He also hailed Marshal Joseph Tito as “a man who believes in human rights,” and said of murderous Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, “Our goals are the same: to have a just system of economics and politics . . . We believe in enhancing human rights.” Carter told Haitian dictator Raul Cédras that he was “ashamed of what my country has done to your country,” which made most Americans ashamed of Jimmy Carter. Mr. Carter is like a Timex watch. He takes a licking but keeps on ticking (though a Timex is, of course, much more accurate). No matter how wrong he is on the issues, no matter how many times his predictions about how organizations like Hamas will change, he just keeps coming back with more advice. This was the man whose record as Chief Magistrate has become a benchmark for presidential failure. Still, he refuses to get the message. He just won’t go away. Fair enough. It’s a free country. And he has the right to be wrong. But Carter’s nonstop criticism of Israel and his emergence – in the words of Alan Dershowitz – as a “cheerleader” for Hamas has confirmed in the minds of many that Carter has more than a bit of a problem with the Jewish state. Mr. Carter said in 2006 that Israel’s policies in the West Bank were actually worse than apartheid South Africa. He followed  this disgusting libel with his infamous 2009 book “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” in which he claimed that due to “powerful political, economic, and religious forces in the U.S., Israeli government decisions are rarely questioned or condemned, voices from Jerusalem dominate our media.” We’re skirting awfully close to a protocols-of-Zion style argument here, that the Jews control the media and American foreign policy. Here’s a priceless clip of Jimmy Carter on the Today Show. Do you believe Hamas can be trusted? Yes, I do. Perhaps the clincher is Mr. Carter’s pronouncement that “the key factor that prevents peace is the continuing building of Israeli settlements in Palestine, driven by a determined minority of Israelis who desire to occupy and colonize east Jerusalem and the West Bank.” According to Carter, Palestinian terrorism, Iranian nukes, tyrannical Arab governments, and murderous Islamist religious militancy are not the causes for Middle East conflict. No, it’s the Jews. What has surprised the world in Israel’s third war against Hamas since 2005 is how even countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria have not come to Hamas’ defense or criticized Israel. And when a country like Saudi Arabia and a brutal dictator like Bashar Assad have more moral sense than a former American president, you’ve got to wonder about more than his moral compass.

Shmuley Boteach, “America’s Rabbi” whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the author of 30 books, including The Fed-up Man of Faith: Challenging God in the Face of Tragedy and Suffering. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley Read more at http://observer.com/2014/08/the-moral-disintegration-of-jimmy-carter/#ixzz3ilRvThbC Follow us: @observer on Twitter | Observer on Facebook Read more at:http://tr.im/hWv3z



A regime that can’t be trusted with the lives of its own people can’t be trusted with a weak nuclear deal. The deadly consequences of such an agreement will not come 10 years from now when Iran has the acknowledged ability to launch a nuclear weapon; they will come as soon as the current regime is granted legitimacy on the international stage and gains economic or political leverage over democratic nations, which will happen as soon as their coffers are filled with unfrozen assets and the oil flows unfettered.”

– Gen. (ret.) Hugh Shelton, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1997-2001), Op-Ed in the Miami Herald, August 6, 2015

“I think the top [issue] is the verification regime, which is starting to roughly resemble Swiss cheese…you can drive a truck through some of the holes. I am very concerned about that.”

– Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander (2009-2013), Interview on MSNBC, July 29, 2015

“There are so many things that Iran has been gifted right now with this unbelievable deal. I mean, it’s far more than just nuclear issues. I mean, it goes into everything that Iran is going to be capable of doing. And I’m going to tell you. When they receive this $150 billion check essentially I am really concerned about what kind of behavior they are going to continue to display.”

– Lt. Gen. (ret.) Michael Flynn, former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (2012-2014), interview on Fox News, July 15, 2015

“I’m also concerned about our failure to demand an accurate accounting of the possible military dimensions of the Iranian program…It’s not just what they may have done in the past to position themselves with regard to weaponization. The Iranians have been stiffing the IAEA for years on this issue. Now, we are going to rely on the IAEA for verification of this new agreement. After seemingly having taught the Iranians that if you stiff these guys enough, the requirement to concede will go away.”

– Gen. (ret.) Michael Hayden, former Director of the National Security Agency (1999-2005) and Central Intelligence Agency (2006-2009), Statement before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, July 14, 2015

“We guarantee Iran will have a nuclear weapon capability, and just as important, we guarantee they will have the most modern conventional weapons which could jeopardize our position in the Persian Gulf.

– Adm. (ret.) James Lyons, former Commander U.S. Pacific Fleet (1985-1987), Times Square Rally, July 30, 2015

“This nuclear deal will fund and empower [Qassem] Suleimani to boost the Quds Force’s reign of terror and its campaign against American friends and interests in the region. For a deal that is putatively focused on just Iran’s nuclear program, this empowerment of Iran’s terrorist in chief is inexplicable.

 Lt. Gen. (ret.) Michael Barbero, The Weekly Standard, August 2, 2015. Lt. Gen. Barbero served three combat tours in Iraq, including serving as the senior operations officer during the surge.




AIPAC | America’s Pro-Israel Lobby

Earlier today, AIPAC sent a new memo (below) to congressional staffers outlining how U.S. sanctions would remain effective if Congress votes to disapprove of the Iran deal.

The memo is another articulation of possible the alternatives to this deal, which has become a central theme promoted by supporters of the accord.

I also want to share with you a few recent and noteworthy articles:

Robert Satloff: A ‘No’ Vote Could Lead to a Better Deal
The executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Robert Satloff, writes that a congressional vote to oppose the nuclear agreement “would not necessarily be a deal breaker; in fact, it could give the administration time to improve the agreement or implement other policy measures that more effectively secure U.S. interests.”

Click here to read Satloff’s analysis.

Michael Bloomberg: White House Should Leave Politics Out of Iran Deal
In an op-ed published Monday, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg called on proponents of the deal to tone down aggressive, counterproductive rhetoric and shift the debate from political attacks to a policy discussion. “Overstating the case for the agreement belies the gravity of the issue and does more to breed distrust than win support. Smearing critics is even less effective,” he said.

Click here to read the full Bloomberg piece.

David Albright: What Iran’s Hostile Reaction to the Parchin Issue Means for the Nuclear Deal
David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security, wrote in The Washington Post that “Iran appears to be continuing its policy of total denial” when it comes to granting inspectors access to suspect nuclear sites. “The United States and Congress should clearly and publicly confirm, and Congress should support with legislation, that if Iran does not address the IAEA’s concerns about the past military dimensions of its nuclear programs, U.S. sanctions will not be lifted. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of the nuclear deal.”

Click here to read Albright’s full op-ed.

Emily Landau: What 29 Top U.S. Scientists Don’t Know
In response to a recent letter by 29 U.S. scientists who support the deal, Emily Landau, head of the Arms Control and Regional Security Program at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, wrote that the scientists failed to accurately scrutinize loopholes in the deal and aspects “that are not about science, but rather politics.”

“The scientific aspects are certainly important,” she wrote, “but that is not where the assessment ends. Rather, there is a need to consider the history of dealing with Iran, and the experience gained thereby.”

Click here to read Landau’s full op-ed.

Please call and email your members of Congress today and urge them to oppose this deal.


Brian Shankman
Director of Regional Affairs and Development

P.S. Please forward this message to your family, friends and social networks. Be sure to follow AIPAC on Twitter and Facebook, and share our posts with your followers.

Without this Deal: Why Sanctions Will Remain Effective

Proponents of the nuclear deal with Iran argue that sanctions will collapse — and that pressure on Iran will evaporate — if Congress rejects this deal. In reality, this is not the case. With no deal, U.S. law mandates the continuation of strong unilateral sanctions, while the international sanctions regime’s future is, at this point, unknown. Preservation of most U.S. sanctions, and possibly those of others, will produce a far better outcome than what this deal would provide — the immediate lifting of U.S. secondary sanctions and the bulk of international sanctions with no assurance of long-term Iranian compliance.

Even if European and other governments lift their sanctions, many international companies and banks will continue to be deterred from establishing commercial ties with Iran in order to maintain access to the U.S. market.

Regardless of Congress’ decision, the entire current sanctions regime will remain in place at least until the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action’s (JCPOA) “Implementation Day,” some six to 12 months from now. Should Congress reject this deal, the United States will have ample time to work with its partners to develop a new diplomatic approach to reach a better agreement.

Without this Deal: U.S. Sanctions Remain in Place.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act prohibits the president from waiving congressionally-mandated sanctions if Congress rejects this deal (see summary below).

Existing congressionally-mandated sanctions penalize those who engage with Iran:
People who violate U.S. sanctions may face up to 20 years imprisonment and significant fines.

Banks that violate U.S. law may lose access to the U.S. financial system, a devastating penalty for any international financial institution.

Companies may face penalties that include lost access to the U.S. marketplace, a ban on U.S. government contracts, and sanctions targeting corporate officers.
Without this Deal: U.S. Sanctions Remain Powerful.
Those who might consider reopening commercial ties with Iran will likely be deterred by U.S. sanctions. When oil companies and banks previously confronted the choice between doing business with the $17.4 trillion U.S. economy or the $400 billion Iranian economy, most chose to stay out of Iran to avoid isolating themselves from the U.S. market.

Prior to 2010, Europe and Asia had almost no significant sanctions on Iran, and virtually every major bank and energy firm either refrained from entering Iran or pulled out as a result of congressionally-mandated U.S. sanctions.

In considering future trade and investments, international firms will weigh whether this administration and/or future administrations will enforce Iran sanctions. Since 2009, the U.S. government has fined banks billions of dollars for violations of sanctions that took place years prior. This history puts companies on notice that a future administration could penalize them for current violations, which is likely to engender great caution on their part before risking investment in Iran.

If Congress rejects this deal, individual U.S. state measures targeting companies conducting business in the Iranian energy sector will remain in place. International companies will have to weigh whether to seek the benefits of doing business with Iran or to retain state business and the investments of some of the world’s largest pension funds.
Without this Deal: The President Can Deny Iran Access to its Foreign Held Oil Revenues.
If Congress rejects this deal, the president will need to decide whether to continue with the de-designations of sanctioned Iranian banks, a necessary step for banks to transfer funds to Iran without violating existing sanctions. If designations stay in place, the funds will remain frozen and persist as a point of leverage to pressure Iran to return to the negotiating table.

Even if the president chooses to de-designate Iranian banks, international financial institutions are unlikely to quickly resume their ties with Iranian banks. They would reasonably fear opening themselves up to multi-billion dollar fines by a future administration and potentially losing access to the U.S. market.

So long as Iranian banks remain under sanctions, other nations have little incentive to return frozen Iranian funds. For example, China has a captive buyer in Iran. Since Iran cannot now spend its oil revenue on anything but Chinese products, China will likely not act to relinquish this advantage.
Without this Deal: Unilateral U.S. Sanctions Have Proven to be Effective.
The administration has consistently opposed legislation to impose sanctions on Iran using the same arguments it uses today. In 2010, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress that unilateral sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran would “undermine” international pressure on Iran. Rather than motivating countries to join the United States in increasing pressure on Iran, those nations were presumed “more likely to resent our actions and resist following our lead…” U.S. allies echoed this warning. However, such predictions proved incorrect when foreign governments, companies, and banks went along with U.S. restrictions.

The administration now credits the same sanctions it opposed as the very tools that drove Iran to negotiations. In fact, maintaining sanctions is the best way to pressure Iran to return to the table.

If the United States rejects the deal and Iran walks away before “Implementation Day,” when the IAEA verifies Iran has complied with nuclear-related matters of the JCPOA, then the international sanctions regime will remain intact. If Iran does not walk away but subsequently does not uphold its commitments, or if it walks away from the deal after “Implementation Day,” sanctions can “snap back” to some degree – and U.S. sanctions will be in effect to bolster them.
Without this Deal: Sufficient Time Exists for Congress and the Administration to Take Action.
Iran probably will adhere to the proposed deal at least until “Implementation Day” because only then can it gain access to its frozen escrow accounts. This date is likely six to 12 months away. If Congress rejects the deal and the president nevertheless proceeds with de-designating Iranian banks, the period before Implementation Day provides time to pursue alternatives.

Congress could take up new legislation making it difficult for Iran to access overseas funds. For example, the repatriation of funds through any Iranian financial institution, regardless of designation, can be made a sanctionable act.

The United States will gain time to develop a new diplomatic approach to get to a better deal before Iran can “take the money and run.”
Existing congressionally-mandated sanctions include:

Energy Sector
Investments in Iran’s energy sector.

Transport of crude oil from Iran.

Provision of goods, services or technology in support of Iran’s energy sector.

Export of refined petroleum products to Iran.

Development or purchase of petrochemical products from Iran.

Underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance for the National Iranian Oil Company or the National Iranian Tanker Company.

Congress could take up new legislation making it difficult for Iran to access overseas funds. For example, the repatriation of funds through any Iranian financial institution, regardless of designation, can be made a sanctionable act.
Transactions with the Central Bank of Iran.

Purchases, subscriptions, or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt.

Financial transactions to facilitate any banned activity. For example, banks cannot process transactions that involve the Iranian energy sector.

Export of U.S. aircraft, spare parts, and foreign aircraft with significant U.S. components.

Imports of Iranian pistachios, caviar, and carpets.
Transactions with Iran’s shipping and shipbuilding sectors and port operators, including for the National Iranian Tanker Company.
Material support for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC controls significant sectors of the Iranian economy and an estimated 40% of the entire economy.

Joint ventures relating to the mining, production, or transport of uranium.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee http://www.aipac.org Twitter Facebook

AIPAC | America’s Pro-Israel Lobby
251 H Street NW • Washington, DC • 20001 • TEL 202-639-5200
Privacy Policy



Kerry Indicates US Will Defend Iran from Israel


‘No Inspections’: Iran to Test its Own Covert Nuclear Sites
Israeli minister, senior diplomat warn US ‘crossed red lines’ letting Iran collect samples from Parchin in classified section of deal.

Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on gmailMore Sharing Services 65

By Ari Yashar

First Publish: 7/24/2015, 8:47 AM
Parchin military base

Parchin military baseReuters

Israeli diplomats have responded with shock to secret details of the Iran deal revealed in the Senate hearing of US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, in which classified sections of the deal not originally released were unearthed.
One particularly troubling detail that was divulged is that the covert military base Parchin, which Iran has admitted to using to test exploding bridge wire nuclear detonators, will be off limits to international inspectors, exactly as Iran has threatened. Instead Iran will take its own samples from Parchin and do its own testing of the covert site.
Kerry responded in the hearing by saying the agreements on Parchin are part of the classified section of the deal, and that he trusts the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) when it says it is satisfied with them; ironically, the IAEA has in numerous reports warned that Iran is conducting nuclear weapons testing at the site, and requested numerous times to inspect the site – requests that Iran rejected.
Responding to the revelation, a senior Israeli diplomatic source was cited by Yedioth Aharonoth saying, “not only did the Iranians receive a warning time of 24 days (before inspection) to clean things up, apparently they don’t even need to worry because they’re the ones collecting the samples.”
“That means it just allows the Iranians to fabricate the samples and there is no chance that breaches (of the deal) will be found. It means there won’t be real inspection.”
A senior minister of the Israeli government who is also a member of the Security Cabinet was likewise quoted on condition of anonymity in the report responding to the self-testing issue.
“In this deal and its annexes there are lots of astonishing things, like the fact that Iran is the one to collect the samples from nuclear sites, and that the world powers obligated to help Iran prevent sabotage at nuclear facilities,” said the minister.
He added, “each day it becomes clear how awful this deal is. This deal is full of holes. Everyone understands that they (the Iranians) tricked them. The more we go deeper into deals and annexes we discover that the Americans and the international community crossed many red lines.”
Heightening the concern over Parchin, satellite photos have shown Iran has been modifying the site, possibly expanding the nuclear tests and covering up their existence. Given that international inspectors will not be allowed in the site, Iran would apparently be allowed to ramp up its covert nuclear weapons program unfettered.
Reports tied the Parchin base to Iran’s nuclear program following a mysterious explosion at the site last October.
IAEA reports in November 2011 pointed to nuclear weapons development previously conducted at the site, and a 2012 IAEA report likewise confirmed explosives containment vessels were at the site and likely used to test nuclear detonators.


ParchinIranian nuclear program

Related Stories

‘If Congress Rejects Deal, Israel Will be Blamed’

Iranian Nuclear Deal to Strengthen Damascus?

Kerry Warns: Israeli Strike on Iran ‘Huge Mistake’

Jewish Democrats Must Choose Obama or Israel

Liberman: I Should be PM, Not Ex-Ally Netanyahu

Obama Admits: Iran Being Given Billions for Terror

Kerry Indicates US Will Defend Iran from Israel

Ya’alon: Deal Poses Serious Threats to the West

France and Iran Plan to Step Up Cooperation

Iran’s Basij Commander Claims US Commands ISIS




MEMRI TV Clip No. 4871

Commentators On Arab TV: Obama Supports Iran Because His Father Was A Shi’ite



On March 25, during an interview on Hiwar TV, broadcasting from London, Syrian writer Muhydin Lazikani said that “all the childhood memories of the man who rules the White House are Shi’ite memories” and that “that is why he is so anxious for Iran to emerge victorious.” On April 10, London-based Iranian opposition activist Abu Muntasir Al-Baloushi said: “Barack Hussein Obama is the son of a Shi’ite father… Some people call him the Iranian lobby in America.” He was speaking on the Saudi 4Shbab TV channel.

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV

4871MTV A.jpg

4871MTV B.jpg

View The Clip

MEMRI TV Clip No. 4872

Leading Lebanese Journalist Ibrahim Al-Amin: I Support Fighting U.S., France, and Britain; Saudi Arabia Is The ‘Kingdom Of Evil’


During a recent interview with the Hizbullah-owned Al-Manar TV channel, leading Lebanese journalist Ibrahim Al-Amin called Saudi Arabia the “kingdom of evil” and said that “getting rid of the rule of the Saud clan was no less important than wiping Israel out of existence.” Al-Amin, who serves as Chairman of the Board of the “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, further said: “I support fighting America, France, and Britain.” The interview aired on April 10, 2015.

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV

4872MTV A.jpg

4872MTV B.jpg

View The Clip




Inquiry and Analysis Series Report | 1167 | June 11, 2015 The Middle East Media Research Institute

Khamenei Rejects Agreement Reached On Token Inspection Of Military Sites And Questioning Of Scientists;

U.S. Willing To Close IAEA Dossier On Iranian PMD, To Settle For Inspecting Declared Nuclear Sites Only, And To Rely On Intelligence; EU Objects

By: A. Savyon and Y. Carmon*


This past week, members of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team revealed details about the Iran-U.S. nuclear negotiations. The negotiations were dealt a blow when Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected an agreement reached by the two sides concerning a token inspection of military facilities and questioning of several nuclear scientists and “military personnel”; these were to be the response to the IAEA’s open dossier on possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program to which Iran has so far refused to respond.

Iranian reports on these developments show that in order to arrive at a comprehensive agreement, the U.S. is willing to forgo actual inspection of Iranian military facilities and to settle for inspection of declared nuclear facilities only, as set forth under the Additional Protocol, while the ongoing monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program will be left to intelligence elements.

Thus, at this stage, there is a deadlock: Iran is refusing both to respond to the IAEA dossier on its PMD, and to allow actual inspection of facilities that are not declared nuclear facilities.

Furthermore, the EU has announced its objections to a comprehensive agreement with Iran in the absence of satisfactory answers from it regarding the IAEA dossier on its PMD. It said that the IAEA investigation of the PMD “will be essential” to a nuclear deal. IAEA Director-General Yukio Amano has also linked the investigation of Iranian PMD to the attainment of such an agreement.

The Issue: Inspection Of Iranian Military Sites, Questioning Of Iranian Scientists

On May 25, 2015, in an Iranian television interview, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and head negotiator Abbas Araghchi disclosed that this issue had been agreed upon, but that when the Iranian team returned to Tehran for Khamenei’s approval, Khamenei had rejected this agreed solution out of hand (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 4928, Top Iranian Nuclear Negotiator Abbas Aragchi: We Reached Solution with P5+1 on Site Inspection, But Khamenei Rejected It, May 25, 2015 and Appendix I).

It was evident also from Aragchi’s statements that after Khamenei rejected the agreed solution, Iran even reneged on what had been agreed as part of the Additional Protocol, and is now insisting that limitations and restrictions that are part of the Protocol be implemented in a way that will make future inspections difficult. As part of Iran’s backpedaling, Araghchi repeatedly emphasized that “so far, nothing has been concluded” regarding the issue of the inspections.

U.S. Willingness To Disregard IAEA PMD Dossier

Statements by negotiating team member Hamid Baidinejad show that in return for willingness on Iran’s part to sign a comprehensive agreement, the U.S. was willing to forgo actual investigation of the IAEA’s open PMD dossier on Iran and instead to conduct a token inspection of military sites and questioning of Iranian nuclear scientists and military personnel. The U.S. asked Iran to carry out a number of specific steps, thereby paving the way to a comprehensive solution for this issue. These steps included inspections at several points in Iran, including two military facilities, and questioning several senior military officials and scientists (see Appendix II).

Iranian Negotiators’ Two Versions Of Events

An analysis of these statements by the Iranian negotiators shows that there are two different versions of what took place in the negotiations. According to Araghchi, the Iranian team agreed to the U.S.’s demand for a token inspection, but when the team returned to Tehran, Khamenei completely rejected this token inspection. Aragchi’s disclosure that the Iranian negotiators had arrived at an agreement with the Americans that was subsequently rejected by Khamenei caused an uproar in the Iranian political system, triggering harsh criticism against both the negotiators and the leaders of the pragmatic camp, and even leading to a public confrontation between Khamenei and pragmatic camp leader Hashemi Rafsanjani.

The sn of events emerged after the uproar sparked by Aragchi’s revelations. Another negotiator, Baidinejad, in an attempt to correct Araghchi’s claim, stated that the Iranian negotiators had rejected the U.S. demands, even the demand for token inspection, but that the Americans had pressed them to present the demand to Khamenei anyway; when they did so, at the Americans’ urging, Khamenei rejected it outright.

Read The Full Report



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 324 other followers

%d bloggers like this: