You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) A framework agreement by the major world powers regarding Iran’s nuclear program
The United States along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China announced a framework agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program with the goal of reaching a detailed comprehensive agreement by June 30. The deal will limit Iran’s nuclear program and will provide Iran with relief from economic sanctions that have crippled its economy for the past decade.
US President Barack Obama said: “The United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached an historic understanding with Iran, which if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Obama called the deal “historic” and said that, “if fully implemented” it would prevent Iran attaining the bomb, and would render the US, its allies and the world safer. Obama said: “we have achieved the framework” for a long-term deal, a framework “that would cut off every path” that Iran could take to the bomb, including the toughest inspections “ever negotiated,” he said. He said the terms of the deal, first, closed off Iran’s plutonium route to the bomb. The core of the Arak reactor will be dismantled, he said.
Second, the uranium route would be closed, with two-thirds of Iran’s centrifuges no longer to be used, no enrichment at the Fordow facility, and no use of advanced centrifuges “for at least 10 years.” Most of Iran’s existing stocks of enriched uranium would be “neutralized.” Third, as the best defense against a covert Iranian bid for the bomb, it would be subjected to unprecedented inspection. “If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” Obama said. “If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. It is a good deal.”
If it fully complies with the deal, Iran could “rejoin the family of nations,” the president said, stressing again that the deal had yet to be finalized. Obama reiterated that, “Iran will never be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.” He said the deal provides for phased sanctions relief, but that if Iran violates the deal, “sanctions can be snapped back into place.” Obama added: “The issues at stake here are bigger than politics. These are matters of war and peace, and they should be evaluated based on the facts.” The president called the agreement “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal had “no sunset clause.” Some of its components would in force for 10 years, others for 15, and still others for indefinite periods. If implemented, Kerry added, Iran’s current two-month potential breakout time, he said, would be at least a year. In an apparent jab at Netanyahu, Kerry added: “Simply demanding that Iran capitulate makes a nice soundbite, but it’s not a policy.” Kerry continued: “Throughout negotiation, we have made a diligent effort to consult with our allies and partners,” Kerry said, mentioning Israel and the Gulf states specifically.
The secretary of state said the preliminary deal opened the door to a long-term resolution that would ultimately satisfy international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. “There can be no question that the comprehensive plan we are moving toward will more than pass that test,” he said. He said that Iran has agreed to reduce its centrifuges by two thirds — from approximately 19,000 to an allowed 6,104 installed under the deal. Of those, 5,060 will be allowed to enrich uranium for the next 10 years.
Tehran had also agreed to cap its uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent for at least 15 years, and will not build any additional facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium during that time. Iran, whose breakout time for acquiring enough fissile material for one weapon is currently assessed to be 2-3 months, will be extended to at least one year for the next ten years. Kerry said that Iran had agreed not to enrich uranium at its Fordo facility or conduct nuclear research there, and will convert the complex into a science research center. Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from the Arak reactor out of the country, and the facility will also be redesigned to support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production. Kerry said that a final deal reached between the P5+1 powers and Iran would rely on proof — not on promises from Iran’s government, and that sanctions relief would only be implemented if Tehran abided by the outlined commitments.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif followed with the same statement in Farsi. He called the deal a “win-win” agreement. He later said the deal was designed to reassure “anybody who had concerns that our program is anything but] exclusively peaceful. Still, he stressed, Iran would not be closing “any of our facilities” — something the “proud” Iranian people would not have accepted — would “continue enriching,” and would continue R&D.
Turning to Israel’s concerns over the Iranian nuclear issue, Obama said the framework accord provided the “best option” to ensure that Iran does not achieve nuclear weapons capabilities. Obama added: If “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option.” Obama promised that he would speak to Netanyahu about the agreement and openly acknowledged that they “don’t agree” on how to stop Iran, while telling Netanyahu that the new deal was “the most effective” and “best option.”
Israeli officials strongly disagreed. Israel officials slammed the framework agreement as “a capitulation to Iranian dictates.” They called it “a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement. If finalized, it would make the world “far more dangerous.” The agreement constitutes “international legitimization of Iran’s nuclear program” whose “only purpose is to build nuclear weapons.” The official said: “This is a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous deal,” he said. “If an agreement is reached based on the guidelines of this framework, that would be an historic mistake which will transform the world into a much more dangerous place. This deal kowtows to Iranian dictates and it will not lead to a nuclear program for peaceful purposes, but rather to a military nuclear program.”
The Israeli official added: “The framework gives Iran’s nuclear program, the sole purpose of which is to produce nuclear bombs, international legitimacy. Iran will still have extensive nuclear capabilities. It will continue to enrich uranium. It will continue its centrifuge research and development. It will not close even one of its nuclear facilities, including the underground facility at Fordo. This and more.” The official added: “The bottom line is that this deal ensures the full removal of the sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program while assuring that it will keep its nuclear capabilities. There is no demand that Iran stop its aggression in the region, its terrorism around the world or its threats to destroy Israel, which it has repeated again over the past several days,” the official complained. The alternative to a bad deal is not war but rather a different deal,” the official concluded, “one that will significantly dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and will require Iran to stop its aggression and terrorism in the region and around the world.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the agreement and Iran’s intent in taking notice to recent statements by officials in Iran — notably their calls to eliminate Israel — as evidence of Iran’s unwillingness to compromise on its nuclear ambitions and campaign of “terror, subjugation and conquest.” Netanyahu said it was a moral outrage to make an agreement with Iran while Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel. Netanyahu said: “Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared, and I quote, ‘Israel’s destruction is nonnegotiable’ ” while “Giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to a nuclear bomb is negotiable,” he said. “This is unconscionable.” Netanyahu argued that Iran’s actions and ongoing “aggression” across the Middle East proved it did not intend to give up its nuclear and regional ambitions.
Netanyahu said: “I agree with those who have said that Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges, and a heavy water reactor. Netanyahu’s reference to “those who have said” marked the second time in two days that he has referred to comments made by President Barack Obama at the Saban Conference in December 2013, without citing Obama by name. Netanyahu added: “Nor does it square with Iran’s insistence on developing ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles], and its refusal to come clean with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past weaponization efforts. At the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen,” he continued. “After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said. “While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil,” he said.
Furthermore, Netanyahu said that he had spoken with Republican leaders in the US Senate and “conveyed our serious concern regarding the arrangement with Iran at the nuclear talks. This agreement confirms all our fears and exceeds them.
Some Israeli officials dismissed celebration of a nuclear framework deal between major powers and Iran, calling it detached from reality, and vowed to continue lobbying to prevent a “bad” final agreement. Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement after the announcements in Switzerland: “The smiles from this agreement are detached from a wretched reality in which Iran refuses to make any concessions on the nuclear issue and contiues to threaten Israel and all other countries in the Middle East. We will continue with our efforts to explain and persuade the world in hopes of preventing a bad (final) agreement.”
Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said: “The Nuclear deal would be ‘nothing less than a tragedy.” He added: “one does not have to be an intelligence agency member to know that Iran is lying without blinking, that today it is the biggest danger to the stability of the Middle East and the entire world.” Ya’alon said that the “Iranian appetite to export the revolution through terrorism will only get bigger, and with the seal of approval it receives as a legitimate state that is a touching distance away from being nuclear – the danger to the West and its allies in the Middle East will be enormous.”
Centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid noted: “On the Iranian nuclear issue there is no opposition and coalition. We are all concerned that the Iranians will circumvent the deal and Israel must protect its own security interests. The ayatollah’s regime has been peddling fraud and deception for years and progressing with its nuclear program. They will try, from day one, to cheat the international community as they have done in the past.” Added Lapid: There is no basis to the determination that today Iran was prevented from attaining a nuclear weapon.
Debka, an Israeli intelligence gathering website, gave the following assessment of the Iranian nuclear agreement:
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry promised that the nuclear deal to be signed with Iran will give the world powers a year’s warning after the Islamic Republic’s breakout up to an operational weapon. Our nuclear experts explain why even that grim arithmetic does not do full justice to the advantages Iran has gained for its push to a nuke:
1. Because Iran is permitted to continue running up to 6,500 elderly IR-1 centrifuges for enriching uranium to a low 3.5 percent grade, even if it is permitted to keep only 500 kilos of its stock of 7.5-8 –tons, Tehran would still be able to build a bomb in 7-8 months, i.e. a lot faster than Obama and Kerry have promised.
2. But if Tehran activates secret facilities undetected by US intelligence, it can produce a larger quantity of enriched uranium and so shrink the time between breakout and bomb to three, at most, four months, totally insufficient for the world powers to detect, step in and abort the bomb’s manufacture, in view of the following considerations:
— To obtain proof that Iran is cheating on its accord with the world powers, “environmental” samples would have to be obtained and tested in laboratories outside Iran. Results would be available only after two months, further slashing the time line for stopping Iran building a weapon. But that is not all.
— If Iran is shown by the first round of tests to be in violation of the accord and enriching uranium to a higher grade than 3.5, a second batch of “environmental” samples must be collected to analyze the exact quantities of uranium illicitly enriched and grade of purity.
There goes another month of valuable time for action, cutting it down to 10-12 weeks.
3. And, finally, the US President, Secretary of State and International Atomic Energy leaders have affirmed Iran’s faithful compliance with the first interim nuclear accord – known as the Joint Plan of Action – JPOA – that was signed in Geneva November 2013.
That information is equally false.
It is a fact which is known to intelligence agencies that Iran never complied with its commitment to reduce its UF6 stocks below 7.5 tons and convert added amounts to harmless oxides. Indeed, they estimate that Iran has enlarged its approved amount of stock to 8.5 tons or more, by means of the “creep-out” strategy it has repeatedly pursued in the past to conceal its nefarious nuclear activities.
A final concession which Iran has managed to wring out of the six world powers led by the United States allows Iran to keep an extra 9,000 IR-1 centrifuges Tehran idle – though not dismantled – and permission to continue research and development on high-speed IR-8 or IR-5 centrifuges.
This means that the Islamic Republic will not only keep its nuclear infrastructure under the accord the six powers plan to sign, but add improvements along with the freedom to shorten at will the critical time lapse between breakout and bomb.
The tons of spoken and printed verbiage poured out on the Iranian nuclear issue and ongoing diplomacy year after year have exposed, rather than disguised, President Obama’s willingness to sign a nuclear deal with Iran – however bad and whatever the price.
The inescapable conclusion is that the US president has come around to accepting the reality of a nuclear-armed Iran. As seen from the United States, America never stopped India, Pakistan and North Korea from becoming nuclear powers, and has therefore decided it can live with a fourth – Iran.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Obama details ‘historic’ nuke deal with Iran, Jerusalem slams ‘dangerous capitulation’
2) Obama: Framework deal on Iran nuclear program ‘best option’ for Israel
3) Kerry: Iran deal will leave world safer, more secure
4) Full text of Iran nuke deal parameters, as set out by State Department
5) Israel: Deal a capitulation, will give Iran ‘a military nuclear program’
6) Netanyahu voices outrage that nuclear talks go on while Iran vows to destroy Israel
7) US surrender on breakout time to a bomb leads to breakthrough on a nuclear deal
8) Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says
9) Steinitz: Iran nuclear framework detached from reality
10) Ya’alon: Nuclear deal would be ‘nothing less than a tragedy’
11) Ya’alon: You don’t have to be in intelligence to know that Iran is lying
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