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The John Batchelor Show

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Kahlili, Daily Caller and author, A Time to Betray, in re: VIDEO: Iranian drone buzzes U.S. aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf  US supercarrier.  IRGC news issuance on this: boasted regime’s capability to monitor US naval vessels or attack any one at any time .

March 03, 2014

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The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray,  in re:Top Iran General: Nuclear deal can be annulled Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari: head of Iranian Revolutionary Guards warns US, Israel and the regime’s politicians on the nuclear negotiations.

December 03,2013

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Khamenei and Obama are Geneva’s winners, Netanyahu the big loser

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama embrace at a ceremony held in honor of Obama as he lands at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on March 20, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama embrace at a ceremony held in honor of Obama as he lands at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, on March 20, 2013 (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

timesofisrael.com

If Iran uses the coming weeks to further advance its nuclear program, Israel’s moment of truth could be much less than six months away

BY AVI ISSACHAROFF November 24, 2013, 7:55 pm
The interim agreement announced in Geneva early Sunday morning between Iran and the world powers does not resolve the issue of Iran’s rogue nuclear power program. It is only the starting point on the way to a decisive junction that the sides will reach in another six months. Only then will it become clear how good or bad the interim agreement is for the State of Israel, the United States, Iran and its Arab neighbors. Only then will it be possible to gauge its success (or lack thereof) in reducing Tehran’s ability to attain a nuclear bomb.
Still, even at this early stage, it is possible to declare some interim winners and losers.

Tehran and its Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (represented by the charming President Hassan Rouhani) are big winners, at least for the next six months. Under the deal, the international community has essentially recognized the right of Iran to enrich uranium, which has long been demanded by the regime. Moreover, the world has basically agreed that for the next half a year, Iran can continue as a nuclear threshold state — though not a nuclear state, a critical difference.

Iran will retain its stores of low-enriched uranium, quantities which today could be further enriched to produce between six and eight nuclear bombs. The financial situation in Iran is likely to improve, given the immediate release of $8 billion in assets and, in the near future, increased state revenue from the easing of sanctions. The likelihood of an “Iranian Spring,” a la July 2009, has been decreased and the public support for Khamenei and his messenger Rouhani will only increase. The Iranian president’s speech on Sunday morning and Khamenei’s statements illustrate how enthusiastically they view the achievement.

A second big winner is US President Barack Obama. Although bitterly critical voices were heard against the agreement in Israel, in the Arab countries close to the United States and even in Congress (including Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader), the White House stayed the course. The American public, entering the holiday season, is likely to welcome the deal — a “historic” alternative to what could have become a new outbreak of American warfare in the Middle East. Obama will tout the Geneva agreement as his latest foreign policy achievement, following the summer deal for the dismantling of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities. And the deal does, indeed, provide for the rolling back, to some extent, of Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb: uranium enrichment above 5% will stop, and Western supervision at the Fordo and Natanz facilities will be increased with inspectors allowed in at any time.

Nonetheless, Iran’s ongoing “right” to even low-level enrichment raises serious and justified concerns in Jerusalem, Riyadh, Amman, Bahrain, and beyond. The conviction here is that Tehran has managed to fool Obama, and will use the next six months to move closer still to nuclear weapons capability. It is not clear what has been decided regarding surprise inspections at other facilities, such as Parchin. And Iran has a track record of building secret facilities which inspectors know nothing about.

The concern, anger and dismay among moderate Sunni states and in Jerusalem has only increased in light of what is perceived as an exercise in deception by Washington. According to a Sunday Associated Press report, the American government managed to keep secret for months a series of meetings it held with Iranian emissaries, which began even before Rouhani was elected five months ago.

Obama and Iran should not be contemptuous of the “losers.” Today there is an unprecedented crisis of faith between the moderate Arab states and Washington. What was perhaps regarded as a beginner’s mistake concerning the US attitude toward former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, and continued in a surreal fashion with Washington’s incoherent stance on the current Cairo strongman, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, had already developed, following the deal on Syria, into a terrible sense of betrayal among Arab countries.

Relations can only further deteriorate now. This twisted atmosphere could lead some in the moderate Arab world, mistrustful of US readiness to stand up for its allies, to move closer to Moscow, and perhaps even to enter into secretive agreements with Israel, headed by the current “biggest loser,” Benjamin Netanyahu.

The prime minister of Israel has emerged battered and bruised from his struggle with the White House. His efforts, overt and covert, to dissuade Obama from signing the agreement have failed. Some US newspapers have opined that he tried to pull the United States into a war. At home, along with a fair amount of support, he has also drawn some criticism for his belligerent statements on the issue.

It is hard to know how Netanyahu and the Arab states will act with their backs to the wall. Obviously they’ll try to use every ounce of leverage to secure a permanent accord that would neutralize Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons in the long term. This will mean pressure on Obama, via the US Congress, to stand by his commitment to thwart the Iranian bomb. There is no shortage of members of Congress, Democrats among them, prepared to go head-to-head with Obama on this issue. That pressure is only expected to increase as the six months mark nears.

Finally, Iran has a history of attempting to hide elements of its nuclear program. If it becomes clear in the coming weeks that Iran is doing so again, and taking further significant steps toward the bomb, then Israel’s moment of truth will come in much less than six months.

Iranian leader: Nuclear negotiations merely a maneuver to reach Islamic goal

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Iranian leader: Nuclear negotiations merely a maneuver to reach Islamic goal

The Daily Caller

11/20/2013

By: Reza Kahlili

As the world’s 5+1 powers resumed nuclear negotiations with Iran in Geneva on Wednesday, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attacked Israel and the U.S., saying the Islamic regime is using those negotiations as a gimmick to get stronger.

Khamenei, in a speech to thousands of commanders of the Basij militia, which has been suppressing millions of Iranians seeking freedom from the mullahs’ rule, referred to the negotiations and said: “Some have translated [Iran’s] ‘heroic flexibility’ [in] stepping back from goals and values of the Islamic regime [to achieve a nuclear settlement] and some enemies based on this have claimed retreat by the Islamic Republic.”

However, Khamenei said, that is a “misunderstanding.”

“The ‘heroic flexibility’ means an artistic maneuver and the use of different tactics to reach different goals and ideals of the Islamic regime,” he said. Stalling tactics for more than a decade have allowed Iran to greatly enhance its nuclear capability, allowing to mobilize as a fully-armed nuclear nation within weeks.

Khamenei had previously supported the negotiations by the regime’s new government under President Hassan Rouhani and talked of “heroic flexibility,” implying that the regime will give up some ability of its nuclear program.

However, as the Daily Caller previously reported, the Iranian delegate demanded U.S. and Western recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear enrichment and the removal of major sanctions on its banking and oil industries, which have paralyzed the Islamic regime’s economy. In return, Iran offered only to stop its uranium enrichment at the 20 percent level, a level that is much higher than needed for peaceful purposes.

“The holy Quran necessitates this decree for all prophets, faithful and the ordinary people where all of us must answer in the face of our covenant to God,” Khamenei said. “[B]ased on the clear decree in the Quran, this covenant [is] to stand against the enemy in the fronts of military, political and economy and also not back down from the enemy.”

Khamenei called Israel a “rabid dog,” “unclean,” “illegitimate” and “a bastard.”

“The Zionist regime is destined to destruction, because this miserable regime was imposed [on the Middle East] based upon force, and no imposed phenomenon can last,” he said.

The supreme leader called the U.S. an oppressor of the world and accused it of crimes against humanity, including dropping atomic bombs on Japan.

“[A] deceptive and strange lie is repeated when documents show that a few months prior to America’s nuclear crime in Japan, Hitler, the main figure in World War II, had committed suicide,” he said. “Mussolini, the other figure of the World War, had been arrested, and Japan, two months prior to the incident, had announced its readiness for surrender… The reality is that Americans wanted to test their new arms, meaning the nuclear bomb, in a real situation.”

Khamenei again insisted Iran’s right to enrichment is a red line.

The Basij commander, Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, also told the assembled commanders that “The Basij forces stand by the goal of annihilation of Israel from the world’s map.” Naghdi has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for human rights abuses in Iran.

“Until we recover the Islamic lands from the [Israeli] occupiers and conduct prayers with our leader at the holy Quds [Jerusalem], we will not retreat from fighting with America and the Zionists,” Naghdi said. (RELATED: Iran general: No doubt Israel and America will be attacked)

At the Geneva talks earlier in November, the Obama administration offered the Islamic regime some sanctions relief in exchange for an agreement to reduce enrichment capability.

In a meeting with Senate leaders Tuesday, Obama urged them to hold off on imposing new sanctions on the Islamic Republic while negotiations continued.

Iran has negotiated over its illicit nuclear program with the U.S. and the world powers for over a decade, during which time it has successfully increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium from 150 to over 19,000 today and has over 10 tons of low-enriched uranium, along with over 400 pounds of higher-enriched uranium. It has long mastered uranium enrichment to the 20 percent level, which is 80 percent of the way to weaponization. It will take only weeks to further enrich from that level to a weaponization grade.

A recent report by the Institute for Science and International Security suggested that Iran with its current enriched uranium stock could build a nuclear bomb in as little as a month.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).

Israel’s Peres warns of nuclear Middle East

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

“We are convinced that if Iran manufactures its bomb, all the countries of the Middle East will want to follow suit,” the Israeli president was quoted as saying. (File photo: Reuters)

Staff writer, Al Arabiya News
Sunday, 17 November 2013

Middle Eastern countries will want to obtain nuclear weapons if Iran is allowed to develop an atomic bomb, Israel’s President Shimon Peres said on Saturday ahead of a meeting with French President Francois Hollande.

Shimon Peres told a French newspaper that he appreciated France’s firm stance in negotiations earlier this month on Iran’s nuclear program, adding that there should be “no let-up” in the international pressure on Tehran, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We are convinced that if Iran manufactures its bomb, all the countries of the Middle East will want to follow suit,” the Israeli president was quoted as saying in French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.

Peres will meet the French President on Sunday, in Hollande’s three-day visit to Israel amid the renewed efforts by the West to curb Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

The French president is also hoping to give a push to stalled peace talks with the Palestinians and to try to boost trade with Israel, which stood at $3 billion in 2011.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also urged on Saturday France to maintain its firm stance on international negotiations with Iran.

Hollande’s office said that although France’s “tactical approach” on Iran was different from Israel’s more bellicose stance, both seek to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon, according to AFP.

Israel and world powers suspect the Islamic Republic’s uranium enrichment program is aimed at obtaining nuclear weapons, an allegation vehemently denied by Tehran.

Iranian hardliners have blamed France for scampering a deal that would have given the West guarantees Tehran was not acquiring atomic weapons in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions against Iran.

The P5+1 negotiations with Tehran consist of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

The talks are due to resume in Geneva in the coming week.

(With AFP)

The John Batchelor Show

Friday, November 8th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

Discussion on the negotiations in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program and the condition set by Iran leaders to have the right to continue to enrich uranium.

November 07, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

 Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: Ayatollah Khamenei: US should ‘slap’ Sheldon Adelson, cannot stop Iran’s nuclear program.

November 04, 2013

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American flags burned as 10,000 Iranians protest on US Embassy siege anniversary

Monday, November 4th, 2013

NBC

By Ali Arouzi and Alexander Smith, NBC News

TEHRAN — At least 10,000 Iranians protested outside the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran Monday, burning American flags and effigies of Barack Obama on the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the building.

Annual demonstrations take place at the site, marking the date on which activists stormed the embassy 34 years ago and took 52 staff hostage for 444 days — an act that severed diplomatic ties with the U.S. for more than three decades.

But this year’s demonstration was larger than usual, fueled by anger among Iranians at President Hassan Rouhani’s recent moves to reopen dialogue with the West.

The crowd comprised mainly students and old revolutionaries from 1979, with equal numbers of men and women. It was at least ten times bigger than in previous years.

The air was thick with smoke as countless U.S. and Israeli flags went up in flames, accompanied by chants of “death to America” and the waving of anti-U.S. banners.

Reporters were issued with press credentials marked with the phrase “down with U.S.A.”

Several protesters told NBC News they were taking part because they did not trust the U.S. and did not want Iran to do a deal with its arch-enemy.

The sentiment follows Rouhani presenting a far more moderate approach to international relations than his predecessor, the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani broke the 34-year diplomatic silence between Iran and the U.S. with a 15-minute telephone call to Obama after the U.N. general assembly in September. It followed an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Ann Curry in which Rouhani said: “We are not seeking … and looking for war with any nations. We are seeking peace and stability among all the nations in the region.”

The Iranian president also wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he declared an end to “the age of blood feuds,” adding: “World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities.”

This approach has been applauded by many Iranians, but Monday’s protests were not the first occasion Rouhani has been criticized for his perceived warming to the country Iran used to call “the Great Satan.”

On his return from the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Rouhani was met with a large crowd of supporters in Tehran. Others, however, booed him and pelted his car with eggs, tomatoes and shoes.

On Sunday, Iran’s most powerful public figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave a speech backing the country’s nuclear negotiators. This was an apparent warning to hardliners not to accuse Rouhani of compromising with its old enemy, Reuters reported.

“No one should consider our negotiators as compromisers,” Khamenei said, according to the news agency. “They have a difficult mission and no one must weaken an official who is busy with work.”

On Saturday, an editorial by conservative newspaper Kayhan warned against trusting the U.S. in current nuclear negotiations, Reuters said. The editorial said there were signs that “the Americans are aiming to trick the Islamic Republic” in the next round of talks this week.

Reuters contributed to this report. Alexander Smith reported from London.

The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The John Batchelor Show

Discussion on negotiations with Iran over its illicit nuclear program, the game plan by the clerical establishment for sanctions relief without giving up complete enrichment capability and the difficulties for Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region with the prospect of U.S. acceptance of Iran’s nuclear program.

October 29, 2013

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Israel issues warning on report on Iran bomb

Friday, October 25th, 2013
Iran Missiles

(Photo: ATTA KENARE AFP/Getty Images)

Oren Dorell, USA TODAY

7:17 p.m. EDT October 25, 2013

A new report that says Iran may need as little as a month to produce enough uranium for a nuclear bomb is further evidence for why Israel will take military action before that happens, an Israeli defense official said Friday.

A new report that says Iran may need as little as a month to produce enough uranium for a nuclear bomb is further evidence for why Israel will take military action before that happens, an Israeli defense official said Friday.

“We have made it crystal clear – in all possible forums, that Israel will not stand by and watch Iran develop weaponry that will put us, the entire Middle East and eventually the world, under an Iranian umbrella of terror,” Danny Danon, Israel’s deputy defense minister told USA TODAY.

Iran is developing and installing new and advanced centrifuges that enable Iran to enrich even low-enriched uranium to weapons grade uranium needed for nuclear weapons within weeks, Danon said.

“This speedy enrichment capability will make timely detection and effective response to an Iranian nuclear breakout increasingly difficult,” he said.

“Breakout” refers to the time needed to convert low-enriched uranium to weapons-grade uranium. On Thursday, the Institute for Science and International Security issued a report stating that Iran could reach that breakout in as little as one month based in part on Iran’s own revelations about its nuclear program.

“If they use all their centrifuges … and their stockpiles of low- and medium-enriched uranium, that would take one to 1.6 months,” said David Albright, president of the institute and a former inspector for the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

The report comes as the White House is trying to persuade Congress not to go ahead with a bill to stiffen sanctions on Iran to force it to open up its program to inspection. The White House on Thursday invited senate staffers to a meeting on Iran strategy for negotiations that are to resume next month with Iran, it said.

In discussing Iran strategy, President Obama has said Iran is a year or more away from having enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.

Bernadette Meehan, an spokeswoman for the administration’s National Security Council, said the intelligence community maintains “a number of assessments” regarding potential time frames for Iran to produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one weapon or a testable nuclear device.

“We continue to closely monitor the Iranian nuclear program and its stockpile of enriched uranium,” Meehan said.

In the report, Albright said negotiations with Iran should focus on lengthening Iran’s breakout time. ISIS’ analysis is based on the latest Iranian and United Nations reports on Iran’s centrifuge equipment for producing nuclear fuel and its nuclear fuel stockpiles.

Iran’s stockpile of medium-enriched uranium has nearly doubled in a year’s time and its number of centrifuges has expanded from 12,000 in 2012 to 19,000 today.

Sen. Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican whose Senate Banking Committee is considering legislation to tighten Iran sanctions, said the report shows that Iran is expanding its nuclear capabilities under the cover of negotiations.

“The Senate should move forward immediately with a new round of sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring an undetectable breakout capability,” he said. The House has already passed legislation to toughen sanctions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said his country has no interest in nuclear weapons but that producing nuclear fuel is Iran’s right. However, Iran has blocked international inspectors from some suspected nuclear facilities, making it impossible to determine whether it is complying with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty it has signed.

United Nations inspectors say they have found evidence of a weapons program in violation of Iran’s commitment under the treaty. The USA and the U.N. Security Council have implemented economic sanctions on Iran to persuade it abide by its obligation and verify it is not developing a bomb.

Albright says negotiations with Iran should focus on establishing protocols that lengthen the time period that it would take Iran to convert uranium to weapons grade uranium.

“An essential finding is that they are currently too short and shortening further,” stated the report by the Institute for Science and International Security.

Contributing: Michele Chabin in Jerusalem

Gaza’s Hamas chief calls for renewed ‘resistance’ against Israel

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Hamas chief Ismail Haniya spoke on the two-year anniversary of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s release. (Reuters)

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Al Arabiya

The Gaza Strip’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya called on Saturday for an “armed resistance” against the restarted peace talks between Israel and Palestinians, the Associated Press reported.

Haniyeh, who made the remarks in a speech marking two years since captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, urged all Palestinian factions to reject the talks.

Israel and the West Bank government of President Mahmoud Abbas are currently in negotiations. The Gaza ruling Islamist militant group does not recognize Israel and calls for its destruction.

Israeli officials on Sunday said troops uncovered a tunnel running from Gaza 450 meters into Israel and allegedly intended as a springboard for attacks.

The Hamas chief has also denied reports on Saturday that his group was involved in fighting in the neighboring Egyptian Sinai or in Syria, Agence France-Presse reported.

“We did not interfere in the affairs of any country and are not involved in the events or differences or internal conflicts of any country,” Haniya said.

(With the Associated Press and AFP)

Bush: ‘Unlikely’ Iran’s stance toward Israel has changed

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

0_21_091307_bush.jpg
AP

Former President George W. Bush reportedly said Tuesday, as U.S.-backed negotiations with Iran resumed in Geneva, that it is unlikely Iran’s hostile stance toward Israel has changed.

According to The Algemeiner, at an event in New York City, the former president said, “The United States’ foreign policy must be clear eyed; and understand that until the form of government changes in Iran, it is unlikely that their intentions toward Israel will change.”

Despite a perceived thaw in U.S.-Iran relations, the former president said that he does “not believe in Iran’s peaceful intentions until they can irrevocably prove that it’s true.”

Bush was the surprise guest at an event sponsored by The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Fund.

Talks on Iran’s nuclear program resumed in Geneva on Tuesday, following renewed efforts by the Obama administration and Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, to return to the negotiating table. President Obama and Rouhani spoke by phone during Rouhani’s recent visit to New York City for the U.N. General Assembly.

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