Speaking to NBC News, Zarif said Iran is not seeking to build nuclear weapons. “We do not believe nuclear weapons bring security to anybody, certainly not to us,” Zarif said, adding that he hoped the emerging deal would ensure that Iran’s nuclear program “will always remain peaceful.”
He further stated that Iran is prepared to work “around the clock” in order to reach an agreement, which he says is very close.
The Foreign Minister claimed the country’s nuclear ambitions are entirely peaceful, intended only for “scientific” advancement. He said a deal will be made possible “once this fear mongering is out,” possibly referring to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s congress speech Tuesday, in which he assailed the emerging nuclear deal and warned it “paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”
The official said the negotiations are aiming for a much looser construct — “an understanding that’s going to have to be filled out with lots of detail” by their late March target date.
Zarif told NBC reaching the deal is now mainly a political issue. “We are very close if the political decision can be made to get to yes, as President Obama said,” he said.
In 1967, Benjamin Netanyahu skipped his high school graduation in Pennsylvania to head off to Israel to help in the Six Day War. That same year Obama moved with his mother to Indonesia.
When Obama suggested that Israel return to the pre-1967 borders, described by Ambassador Eban, no right-winger, as “Auschwitz borders,” it was personal for Netanyahu. Like many Israeli teens, he had put his life on hold and risked it protecting those borders.
In the seventies, Obama was part of the Choom Gang and Netanyahu was sneaking up on Sabena Flight 571 dressed as an airline technician. Inside were four terrorists who had already separated Jewish passengers and taken them hostage. Two hijackers were killed. Netanyahu took a bullet in the arm.
The Prime Minister of Israel defended the operation in plain language. “When blackmail like this succeeds, it only leads to more blackmail,” she said.
Netanyahu’s speech in Congress was part of that same clash of worldviews. His high school teacher remembered him saying that his fellow students were living superficially and that there was “more to life than adolescent issues.” He came to Congress to cut through the issues of an administration that has never learned to get beyond its adolescence.
Obama’s people had taunted him with by calling him “chickens__t.” They had encouraged a boycott of his speech and accused him of insulting Obama. They had thrown out every possible distraction to the argument he came to make. Unable to argue with his facts, they played Mean Girls politics instead.
Benjamin Netanyahu had left high school behind to go to war. Now he was up against overgrown boys and girls who had never grown beyond high school. But even back then he had been, as a fellow student had described him, “The lone voice in the wilderness in support of the conservative line.”
Netanyahu could have played their game, but instead he began by thanking Obama. His message was not about personal attacks, but about the real threat that Iran poses to his country, to the region and to the world. He made that case decisively and effectively as few other leaders could.
He did it using plain language and obvious facts.
Netanyahu reminded Congress that the attempt to stop North Korea from going nuclear using inspectors failed. The deal would not mean a denuclearized Iran. “Not a single nuclear facility would be demolished,” he warned. And secret facilities would continue working outside the inspections regime.
He quoted the former head of IAEA’s inspections as saying, “If there’s no undeclared installation today in Iran, it will be the first time in 20 years that it doesn’t have one.”
And Netanyahu reminded everyone that Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear program would be backed by ongoing development of its intercontinental ballistic missile program that would not be touched under the deal.
He warned that the deal would leave Iran with a clear path to a nuclear endgame that would allow it to “make the fuel for an entire nuclear arsenal” in “a matter of weeks”.
Iran’s mission is to export Jihad around the world, he cautioned. It’s a terrorist state that has murdered Americans. While Obama claims to have Iran under control, it has seized control of an American ally in Yemen and is expanding its influence from Iraq to Syria.
Its newly moderate government “hangs gays, persecutes Christians, jails journalists.” It’s just as bad as ISIS, except that ISIS isn’t close to getting a nuclear bomb.
“America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad,” he said. It was the type of clarity that he had brought to the difficult questions of life as a teenager. It is a clarity that still evades Obama today.
A measure of how thoroughly Netanyahu exposed Obama’s unseriousness can be found in Obama’s reply that before taking a position on a nuclear deal “it is very important not to be distracted by the nature of the Iranian regimes’ ambitions when it comes to territory or terrorism.”
For Netanyahu and for many in Congress, Iran’s terrorism is not a distraction; it is the main issue.
Obama insists in that same interview that “sanctions are not sufficient to prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.” And yet the entire premise of the deal he’s pushing is that the sanctions forced Iran to come to the negotiating table and agree to give up its race for the bomb. Sanctions can’t stop Iran from going nuclear, but negotiations using the sanctions as leverage can.
And to believe all this, we have to avoid being distracted by Iran’s invasions of other countries and support for terrorists.
It’s self-contradictory nonsense that wouldn’t pass muster in a high school paper in 1967. And yet it’s the unchallenged argument dominating the political class, foreign policy experts and the media today.
Netanyahu came to challenge the argument that Iran could be appeased out of getting the bomb. He had to do it because Obama and his media allies had ignored or shut up everyone who had made it before him. By making Netanyahu’s very appearance into the issue, they hoped to shut him down the way they had senators from their own party. They succeeded in making his appearance controversial, but that just meant that more people were listening when he finally broke through and spoke.
“Would Iran be less aggressive when sanctions are removed and its economy is stronger? If Iran is gobbling up four countries right now while it’s under sanctions, how many more countries will Iran devour when sanctions are lifted? Would Iran fund less terrorism when it has mountains of cash with which to fund more terrorism?” he asked.
It’s a question that the administration and its defenders do not want to answer because it strikes at the heart of their logic of appeasement.
The appeasers claim that the negotiations will stabilize the region. Instead Netanyahu demonstrated that they will lead to a region in which every major Muslim country has nukes and is ready to use them.
“Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world,” he warned. “They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire,”
Netanyahu knows something about standing alone. No Israeli politician has faced the continuing level of hate by the left that he has. The mockery and sneers directed at him by Obama’s media allies in these past weeks have been nothing. The teenager who had learned to stand by his values in a high school in the sixties and as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations in the eighties has let it all roll off him.
In war, Netanyahu had nearly drowned in the Suez Canal. In politics, he has kept his head above water. In Congress, he concluded by quoting Moses. “Be strong and resolute, neither fear nor dread them.”
Even The Arabs Side With Bibi: Al-Arabiya (haters of Israel) Editor Demands Obama Listen To Netanyahu
In surprising op-ed by editor-in-chief of fiercely anti-Israel paper, Faisal Abbas admits Netanyahu is right, Iran must be dealt with.
Al-Arabiya's English edition editor-in-chief Faisal J. Abbas wrote a surprising op-ed on Tuesday, calling on US President Barack Obama to listen to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the latter addressed Congress on the dangers of an Iran nuclear deal being formulated.
Abbas, whose paper is openly anti-Israel and Saudi-owned, began by scornfully conceding "it is extremely rare for any reasonable person to ever agree with anything Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says or does. However, one must admit, Bibi did get it right, at least when it came to dealing with Iran."
The editor backed Netanyahu's recent comment that Middle Eastern countries are collapsing creating a void being filled by "terror organizations, mostly backed by Iran," in an op-ed following an article by a Saudi columnist similarly supporting Netanyahu's appraisal.
"What is absurd, however, is that despite this being perhaps the only thing that brings together Arabs and Israelis (as it threatens them all), the only stakeholder that seems not to realize the danger of the situation is President Obama, who is now infamous for being the latest pen-pal of the Supreme Leader of the World's biggest terrorist regime: Ayottallah Ali Khamenei," Abbas wrote.
Abbas's op-ed comes as Netanyahu warned in Congress that Iran's regional expansionism threatens Arab states as well as Israel, and if unchecked will lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
In addition to longstanding bonus perks such as sympathetic international media coverage and endless handouts from various United Nations agencies, it now turns out that among the benefits of being a Palestinian is free electricity.
The only reason we know about this remarkable Middle Eastern freebie is that the New York Times finally had an opportunity to accuse Israel of withholding it. Without Israel as the villain, the story just wasn’t fit to print.
But last week the Times dutifully reported that the Israel Electric Corporation “briefly reduced the power supply to two Palestinian districts in the northern West Bank on Monday because of a ballooning debt, according to company officials.”
The size of that ballooning debt? — nearly half a billion dollars.
That’s right, the Palestinian Authority owes Israel a staggering $485-million in electricity bills. And even that enormous default led to only a slight reduction – “for less than an hour” – and only to two PA districts. And that only came after repeated warnings by the Israel Electric Corporation and attempts by the IEC “to find an arrangement to reduce the debt through contacts with the Israeli government and international bodies, to no avail.”
So let’s assume for a moment that you had an electricity bill of $485. Not $485-million, just $485. And let’s say you didn’t feel like paying it. Do you think there is any electric company in the United States that would keep your power turned on, even as you ignored repeated warnings to pay up?
Do you think your electricity provider would then contact the federal government or international agencies to work out “an arrangement” with you?
And if you persisted in your scofflaw ways, would the electric company then only reduce power to, say, your living room and basement for less than an hour, as a warning?
Not a chance, of course. If you don’t pay, then within a short time, your power would simply be turned off.
But the constant pressure and criticism from the UN, the Obama administration, and the international media have created a kind of battered wife syndrome, in which nervous Israeli government officials hesitate to apply normal standards of law and order, lest Israel be the subject of a new round of criticism for “mistreating” Palestinians by “depriving” them of electricity.
From the Palestinians’ perspective, this is all old hat. They have been receiving free stuff from Israel and the international community for decades, so they must be used to it by now.
Add to that the aid-without-accountability package that the Palestinian Authority has been receiving from the United States. At $500-million annually for 21 years, the total has now surpassed $10-billion. The aid has continued to flow despite widespread corruption in the PA and despite the PA’s violations of the Oslo accords, for example its refusal to extradite terrorists to Israel for prosecution, and its endless anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement.
It turns out the symbol of the “Palestinian revolution” is an outstretched hand, with American taxpayers subsidizing the dole.