Uploaded on Sept 22. This week’s update is 38 minutes.
You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The details regarding the decision by the US Senate to support the Iranian nuclear deal
Initially, the Obama administration received support from over 34 Democratic Senators for the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated between the P5 + 1 powers (US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) which was spearheaded by the United States. This guaranteed that US President Barack Obama will have enough support to override a possible veto against those who oppose the deal. The Republican party opposes the Iranian nuclear agreement. Eventually, there were a total of 42 senators who supported the Iranian nuclear deal upholding a democratic filibuster to not hold a formal vote on the issue. After Senate Democrats were able to initially uphold their filibuster against holding a vote on the Iranian nuclear agreement, twice they blocked legislation within a week to kill the Iranian nuclear deal. As a result, the Iranian nuclear deal was upheld by the US Senate. In response Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, “I’ve never been more disappointed in this body than I am today. You won’t let us have a vote. You won’t let us have a debate. And please stop saying this deal makes Israel safer. That’s cruel.”
Furthermore, the US House of Representatives voted 245 to 186 to declare Obama out of compliance with the Iran Nuclear Review Act because Congress has yet to see two confidential side agreements pertaining to the deal — documents the administration says it doesn’t have. The resolution also stated that the 60-day clock for Congress to approve the deal hasn’t started. The Iran Nuclear Review Act passed in April and gave Congress a voice in the final Iranian nuclear deal.
In response to the vote, Speaker of the House John A. Boehner said: “This debate is far from over and, frankly, it’s just beginning. We will use every tool at our disposal to stop, slow and delay this agreement from being fully implemented.” However, Senate minority leader, Harry Reid, said: “Our fellow Americans, allies and negotiating partners around the world should know that today’s outcome was clear, decisive and final. There is now no doubt whatsoever that the United States Congress will allow this historic agreement to proceed.”
What caused so many Senate Democrats to vote for the nuclear deal? Just before the Senate left town for its August break, a dozen or so undecided Democrats met in the Capitol with senior diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia who delivered a blunt, joint message: Their nuclear agreement with Iran was the best they could expect. The five world powers had no intention of returning to the negotiating table.
Furthermore, leading up to the Senate vote, Prime Minister David Cameron of the UK, Francois Hollande of France and Angela Merkel of Germany appealed directly to Congress not to reject the deal in a September 10 editorial in The Washington Post.
“They basically said unanimously this is as good a deal as you could get and we are moving ahead with it,” recalled Senator Chris Coons, the Delaware Democrat who lent crucial support to the deal this week despite some reservations. “They were clear and strong that we will not join you in re-imposing sanctions.” Senator Bob Casey, Democrat from Pennsylvania said the unwillingness of the other five powers to renegotiate was a major factor in his decision as well as the importance of keeping America’s allies unified.
For many if not most Democrats, it was that message that ultimately solidified their decisions, leading to President Obama securing enough votes to put the agreement in place over fierce and united Republican opposition. One after another, lawmakers pointed to the warnings from foreign leaders that their own sanctions against Iran would be lifted regardless of what the United States did. “Our ability to build coalitions, to lead, to have credibility when we enter into a negotiation was really on the line,” said Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, “To walk away now would diminish our ability to lead on future issues.”
Opponents of the agreement said they could not remember another recent policy battle where the White House was so driven. They made the Iran vote a strong test of party loyalty. Ultimately, they said, Democrats would be held accountable for their votes.
Two top Jewish democrats in the Congress, US Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Eliot Engel, the most senior Democrat on the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that they will oppose the Iranian nuclear deal.
In his explanation, Schumer said he found the restrictions on inspections of Iranian facilities — which could take up to 24 days — to be “troubling,” and the promised snap-back sanctions mechanism “cumbersome and difficult to use. Even more troubling is the fact that the US cannot demand inspections unilaterally… It is reasonable to fear that, once the Europeans become entangled in lucrative economic relations with Iran, they may well be inclined not to rock the boat by voting to allow inspections,” Schumer maintained.
If Iran’s true intent is to get a nuclear weapon, under this agreement, it must simply exercise patience. After ten years, it can be very close to achieving that goal, and, unlike its current unsanctioned pursuit of a nuclear weapon, Iran’s nuclear program will be codified in an agreement signed by the United States and other nations. To me, after ten years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it.
The senator said Iran’s ongoing support for terror is what gave him “the most pause. To me, the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great,” Schumer said. “Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power.”
In the end, Schumer concludes that the Iranian agreement is based upon trusting the Iranians to comply with the agreement. He said: “If one thinks Iran will moderate, that contact with the West and a decrease in economic and political isolation will soften Iran’s hardline positions, one should approve the agreement. After all, a moderate Iran is less likely to exploit holes in the inspection and sanctions regime, is less likely to seek to become a threshold nuclear power after ten years, and is more likely to use its newfound resources for domestic growth, not international adventurism. But if one feels that Iranian leaders will not moderate and their unstated but very real goal is to get relief from the onerous sanctions, while still retaining their nuclear ambitions and their ability to increase belligerent activities in the Middle East and elsewhere, then one should conclude that it would be better not to approve this agreement.
Therefore, I will vote to disapprove the agreement, not because I believe war is a viable or desirable option, nor to challenge the path of diplomacy. It is because I believe Iran will not change, and under this agreement it will be able to achieve its dual goals of eliminating sanctions while ultimately retaining its nuclear and non-nuclear power. Better to keep U.S. sanctions in place, strengthen them, enforce secondary sanctions on other nations, and pursue the hard-trodden path of diplomacy once more, difficult as it may be. For all of these reasons, I believe the vote to disapprove is the right one.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Eliot Engel explained his decision by saying: “The answers I’ve received simply don’t convince me that this deal will keep a nuclear weapon out of Iran’s hands, and may in fact strengthen Iran’s position as a destabilizing and destructive influence across the Middle East,” Engel said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that he “profoundly disagrees” with the reasoning behind decisions by two prominent Democratic lawmakers to vote against the nuclear deal he negotiated with Iran. Kerry said that the rejection of the Iranian deal does not offer any alternative than a drumbeat to war. Kerry said that if the deal is rejected, “there will be a huge cry about Iran’s continued activity and that will lead people to put pressure on military action since the United States would have walked away from the diplomatic solution.”
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington D.C. said in a statement it was “deeply concerned” that the deal “would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.” Officials within the Israeli government said: “Israel doesn’t doubt President Obama’s sincerity about the Iranian nuclear deal but disagrees with his position. This deal does not prevent war but rather hastens it because it gives Iran international legitimacy to build the infrastructure for an arsenal of nuclear bombs; it bolsters its terror machine and its aggression with hundreds of millions of dollars.”
As part of the agreement, Iran will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency. In fact, Iran’s Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Reza Najafi, has emphasized that recent sampling at the Parchin military site was not done under IAEA supervision. Furthermore, the IAEA chief, Yukiya Aman confirmed carried out testing at the Parchin military site where nuclear weapons might have been tested in the past. Former agency Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen says he knows of no other case where a country under investigation for possibly trying to make nuclear weapons was permitted to use its own personnel to collect environmental samples as part of the investigation.
The Israeli official slammed Obama’s claim that the oversight by the international community would catch Iranian violations of the deal. “The claim that Iran won’t be able to hide a military nuclear program does not correspond to reality,” the official said. “Iran already managed to fool the international community and build secret nuclear facilities in Natanz and Qom.” After 15 years, Iran will only be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty and “Iran has violated this treaty time after time,” the official said.
For the first time in living memory, virtually all Israelis – left, right, religious, secular, Arabs, Jews – are united in calling the Iranian nuclear deal disastrous. Back in 1994, American negotiators promised a “good deal” with North Korea. Its nuclear plants were supposed to be frozen and dismantled. International inspectors would “carefully monitor” North Korea’s compliance with the agreement and ensure the country’s return to the “community of nations.” The world, we were told, would be a safer place.
It wasn’t. North Korea never forfeited its nuclear plants and the inspections proved useless. The community of nations is threatened by North Korean atomic bombs and the world is anything but safe. And yet, against all logic, a very similar deal has been signed with Iran.
And Iran is not North Korea. It’s far worse. The North Korean dictators never plotted terrorist attacks across five continents and in thirty cities, including Washington, D.C. Iran’s Ayatollahs did. North Korea is not actively undermining pro-Western governments in its region or planting agents in South America. Iran is. And North Korea – unlike Iran – did not kill many hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
So why, then, are only Israelis united in opposing this deal? We know that the deal allows Iran to break out and create nuclear bombs in as little as three months, too quickly for the world to react. We know that the Ayatollahs, who have secretly constructed fortified nuclear facilities that have no peaceful purpose and have violated all of their international commitments, will break this deal in steps too small to precipitate a powerful global response. And we know that the sanctions, once lifted, cannot be swiftly revived, and that hundreds of billions of dollars Iran will soon receive will not be spent on better roads and schools. That treasure will fund the shedding of blood – of Israelis but also of many others. Ultimately, Israelis know that, while the world might weather its deception by North Korea, they cannot afford to be duped by Iran.
Israel’s former ambassador to the United States Michael Oren believes that the Iranian nuclear agreement signals that the Obama administration has engaged in a major policy shift regarding Israel. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Iranian nuclear deal will enable Iran “to break through to many nuclear bombs in zero time, with international legitimacy. The deal also will give Iran hundreds of billions of dollars, at least 100 billion in the first year, money that will serve to increase its aggression in the region and to spread terrorism to many countries. In Israel and in many countries in the Middle East, there is broad agreement – this is a bad agreement. Many nations in the world support the Iranian nuclear agreement. Israel opposes it. It seems that the Jewish state is on trial in a world kangaroo court and the results in some of the world’s nations are known in advance.”
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Obama secures Iran victory as 34th senator endorses nuclear deal
2) Democrats Hand Victory to Obama on Iran Nuclear Deal
3) Senate rejects attempt to derail Iran deal in victory for Obama
4) Senate Democrats again block Iran nuclear deal disapproval
5) Coordinated Strategy Brings Obama Victory on Iran Nuclear Deal
6) How Europe helped save Obama’s historic nuclear deal with Iran
7) Two top Jewish Democrats say they will oppose Iran deal
8) Why I will vote against Iran deal
9) Kerry ‘profoundly disagrees’ with Schumer, Engel on Iran
10) Israel ‘doesn’t doubt Obama’s sincerity,’ says official, but disagrees on Iran
11) Pro-Israel groups in US line up to slam Iran deal
12) Kerry has ‘intense exchange’ with Jewish leaders over Iran deal
13) Michael Oren: Why Israel Won’t Be Celebrating the Iran Deal
14) Oren: Kerry ‘threats’ won’t deter Israel from opposing nuke deal
15) US Jewish leader: Several EU PMs, including from P5+1, very unhappy with Iran deal
16) UN said to let Iran inspect its own alleged nuclear activity site
17) PM: Israel Is Being Tried in Global Kangaroo Court
From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).
We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).
Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l