BREAKING: Senator’s Huge Announcement Likely Seals Fate Of Obama’s Iran Deal

Despite fierce opposition at home and abroad, Congress will likely fail to block the Iran nuclear deal now that Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., on Wednesday became the crucial 34th vote that denies opponents the numbers needed to block the deal.

Although Republicans are lined up solidly against the proposed agreement, only two Democratic senators came out publicly against the deal — Chuck Schumer of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

“To me, after 10 years, if Iran is the same nation as it is today, we will be worse off with this agreement than without it,” wrote Schumer in expressing his opposition. “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.”

Although Schumer’s announcement last month was expected to trigger more Democratic defections, in recent days a string of Democratic senators had come out in support of the plan. Even if Congress passes a resolution disapproving the deal when it votes later this month, Obama is expected to veto the resolution and now has the votes to win the long-running battle.

Although an Obama victory in navigating the plan through Congress may be achieved, the president must now implement a major and controversial piece of foreign policy while facing broad-based opposition. The agreement’s Democratic support is enough to allow it to move forward, but there remains a bipartisan majority opposed to the agreement.

Republicans still plan to fight to pass a resolution of disapproval in the House of Representatives and the Senate, but, even if they fail, are planning steps to keep pressure on Iran as the nuclear accord begins reducing sanctions.

“We’ve already seen Iran is willing to flaunt international rules before the ink dries,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. Gardner said he would support renewing and expanding sanctions on Iran for non-nuclear infractions or to punish any cheating on the controversial deal.

h/t: Yahoo News

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Arab Coalition Succeeds To Quell Iran-Backed Houthi Rebellion In Yemen

After having successfully driven Iran-backed Houthi militia out of the southern port city of Aden, Yemen’s pro-government forces now brace for a key battle in the central Marib province that must open the road to Yemen’s capital of Sana’a, which has been occupied by Houthi militia since September 2014.

The recent successes of exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s forces would not have been possible without the support of a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab countries which launched an air campaign against the Houthis and forces of former Yemeni President Saleh at the end of March this year. Hadi has been living in Saudi Arabia since March of this year.

Nine Arab countries, among them Egypt, Kuwait and Jordan, helped pro-government forces turn the tide in the civil war with a devastating campaign of air strikes that left more than 2,000 civilians dead, according to the U.N.

Just yesterday, residents of the northern province of Al-Hajjah reported coalition airplanes killed 36 civilians in what Saudi Arabia said was an air strike on a Houthi factory for explosive devices. Houthi spokesmen, however, said the factory produced bottles.

In July, thousands of soldiers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), equipped with tanks and other heavy weapons, joined the pro-government forces and were the driving force behind the Houthi defeat in Aden.

Their arrival followed a secretive operation by UAE Marines who landed in a small fishing harbor close to Aden a couple of weeks earlier. This intervention prevented the Iran-backed Houthi militia from fully taking over Aden.

During a visit to Sudan on Saturday, President Mansur Hadi said his forces had succeeded in “stopping Iranian expansion in the region.”

“We are currently leading a war based on stopping Iranian expansion in the region. Iranian expansion is present now in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon,” Hadi said during a press conference with President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who joined the coalition in April.

“Now there are few provinces where battles are still going on. There is fighting in Taez, and Ibb and Hodeida and Marib,” he added.

If the pro-government forces succeed in driving the Houthis out of Marib, they could advance rapidly to the Houthi stronghold of Saada in the north of Yemen.

The pro-government forces will get the help of hundreds of freshly-trained Yemeni fighters who received military training in Saudi Arabia, which has a vested interest in stopping the Iranian expansion in Yemen.

As Western Journalism has reported, Iran tried to take over Yemen in order to destabilize Saudi Arabia.

The ultimate goal of the Iranian actions in this part of the Middle East was the conquest of the holy Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina. Another goal was the seizure of Bab-el-Mandeb, the strategic waterway from which the entrance to the Red Sea, and ultimately all naval traffic to the Israeli port city of Eilat, can be controlled.

Up to now, Saudi Arabia has not joined the ground war against the Shiite rebels. Instead, the Saudi Army repeatedly conducted small incursions across the border in response to Houthi attacks on its soil.

“Sometimes you have to move and not be static on your defensive line. You move, find where the attack comes from, find the target. It happens from time to time but is not significant,” coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asseri told the Lebanese paper The Daily Star

After failing to reach a temporary ceasefire in June with Yemen’s government, the Houthi rebels now seem to be on the way to their defeat.

The UAE forces have already begun to think about the day after the war when Yemen has to be rebuilt.

“We did not come here to occupy. We came here to rebuild and reconstruct. We don’t need another Libya or Somalia,” General Oteibi, the commander of the UAE forces, told the Wall Street Journal.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

WATCH: Trump Is Teaming Up With Another 2016 Candidate To Fight Obama In A BOLD Way

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced that he and fellow GOP candidate and “friend” Ted Cruz are “doing something very big” within the next two weeks in Washington.

Trump told a group of reporters after a campaign event in Greenville, S.C. that “It is essentially a protest against the totally incompetent deal that we’re doing with Iran.”

“We’re going to have a tremendous crowd come out,” he promised.

One of the candidate’s biggest complaints against the deal is the release of tens of billions of dollars to the rogue regime.

“By the way, even if you break it up, they are going to get $150 billion,” he said. “You know what I’d do? I wouldn’t give them the money. I don’t care what the deal — I would not give them the money.”

The Cruz campaign later told TheBlaze that the Texas senator “has invited Donald Trump to join him on the Capitol grounds for a rally to call on members of Congress to defeat the catastrophic deal that the Obama Administration has struck with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The Tea Party Patriots, Center for Security Policy, and the Zionist Organization of America are sponsoring the event, which will take place on Capitol Hill, according to campaign spokesman Catherine Frazier. 

“We are thankful for all their hard work on this effort and will have more details on time, date, and location as they are finalized,” she added.

Politico reports:

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said the rally is tentatively slated for Sept. 9. He said he welcomed Trump’s involvement and the attention he would bring to the Iran agreement’s opposition.

“Anybody who’s in public life and opposed to the deal, it’s useful to have them speak out and oppose this catastrophe,” Klein said. “It’s not a bad deal, it’s a catastrophe. Every American should be freaking out about arming and funding the Hitler of the day.”

Cruz has been outspoken in his opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal, going so far as to introduce legislation to delay the vote until the details of all the so-called “side deals” are known, The Hill reports.

The senator released a statement earlier this month going after the verification regime, or lack thereof, established by the deal:

“…this deal is not materially different than simply calling the Iranian supreme leader, asking if they’re developing nuclear weapons, and taking his word for it when he says ‘no.’

“The idea that we would trust Iran to inspect their own facilities takes a level of gullibility and naiveté that exceeds the standards even of the Obama Administration. Nobody would sign this agreement without knowing full well that the predictable and certain outcome of this agreement is that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons. And no one in their right mind would want a regime that is led by a radical, theocratic Ayatollah, who chants ‘Death to America,’ to acquire nuclear weapons.

“In my view, the Iranian nuclear deal is catastrophic, and there is no higher priority over the next 60 days than to energize and mobilize the American people to reach out to every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, and urge them to reject this deal.” 

A vote in Congress concerning the Iranian nuclear deal is expected in September.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

200 Retired US Generals And Admirals Call Upon Congress To Reject ‘Defective’ Nuclear Deal With Iran

A group of over 200 retired U.S. generals and admirals has sent a letter to Congress in which they condemn the nuclear deal between Iran and the so-called 5+1 countries, the Washington Post reported.

The letter was a response to a petition in support of the deal which was sent to Congress last week by a group of three dozen retired U.S. military personnel.

The most recent action was initiated by retired Admiral Leon “Bud” Edney, who served as deputy chief of naval operations. Many of the senior military officers in the group worked in the White House under Democratic as well as Republican administrations.

The senior officers wrote in their letter that the deal – called the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA) – will “threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.”

The group says the agreement does not “cut off every pathway” to an Iranian nuclear weapon as is claimed by the Obama administration.

“To the contrary,” the officers wrote, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal.”

 ”JCPOA allows all the infrastructure the Iranians need for a nuclear bomb to be preserved and enhanced. Notably, Iran is allowed to: continue to enrich uranium; develop and test advanced centrifuges; and continue work on its Arak heavy-water plutonium reactor. Collectively, these concessions afford the Iranians, at worst, a ready breakout option and, at best, an incipient nuclear weapons capability a decade from now,” according to the officers.

Their arguments against the deal are very similar to those of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum.

“This agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies. In our professional opinion, far from being an alternative to war, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action makes it likely that the war the Iranian regime has waged against us since 1979 will continue, with far higher risks to our national security interests. Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the retired generals and admirals concluded their letter.

You can read the full text of the letter here.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

You Won’t Believe What Happened After Bombshell Revelation About Secret Nuclear Side Deal With Iran

Last week, the Associated Press published a report that contained the draft text of a secret side deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The secret agreement deals with the inspection regime at the military site of Parchin near Tehran under the nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers (so-called 5+1 countries).

Parchin is the site where Iran is suspected of having conducted secret tests with detonators for a nuclear warhead. The IAEA has been trying to get access to the facility for years to figure out how far the Iranians have progressed, as a prerequisite to setting up a verification regime preventing them from going further. During the negotiations, the U.S. administration vowed there would be no deal without the Iranians providing that access. The text AP published indicates that the administration caved in on that important demand.

The AP report made clear that instead of allowing IAEA inspectors to collect evidence from the facility in Parchin, samples will be collected by the Iranians using Iranian equipment. Furthermore, instead of allowing the IAEA to collect everything it wants, only seven samples will be handed over from mutually agreed upon areas. Instead of giving inspectors access to facilities, photos and videos will be taken by the Iranians themselves, again only from mutually agreed upon areas.

The issue of unhindered IAEA access to Parchin is extremely important because it has significance for the entire inspection regime under the nuclear agreement. When the IAEA is not permitted to visit Parchin, the Iranians will do the same with inspections of other military sites. The refusal to grant the IAEA access to military sites was one of the red lines published by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during the negotiations in Vienna.

At the end of July, Western Journalism reported for the first time on the existence of the secret side deal after Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and Representative Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., issued a press release in which the lawmakers wrote they were briefed on the secret side deal by IAEA officials in Vienna. Pompeo and Cotton had not seen the document; and, therefore, the administration was able to hide behind the argument that neither negotiators in Vienna nor the White House had seen the document either.

But after AP published the actual draft text of the document, the administration had a problem. It was clear that the AP report could erode support for the deal in Congress.

Within hours after the publication of the AP report, White House allies – including groups that have worked with the administration in lobbying Congress – tweeted around the theory that maybe the AP document was forged. It was even suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was behind the ‘forgery’ because the AP draft made mention of the Islamic State of Iran instead of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The (false) claim was that this is how Netanyahu refers to Iran.

Associated Press reacted with fury to the ‘shoot the messenger’ strategy by the supporters of the nuclear deal. The entire staff made clear that it stood behind the report; and after AP published a verbatim transcription of the draft, reporter Brad Klapper tweeted that the document was authentic and ‘word for word.’ This was followed by a Twitter war between people who are in favor of the nuclear agreement and AP reporters.

AP journalist Ken Dilinian, for example, tweeted this: “Funny how those leveling the most ridiculous criticisms of AP’s Parchin inspection scoop are also those who most ardently support the deal.”

The White House later argued that even without direct access to Parchin, the IAEA would still be able to do its work properly, so no problem. The administration started to use this argument after IAEA chief Yukiya Amano issued a statement that – for all sorts of classified reasons – the IAEA could live with the inspection regime at Parchin. On Tuesday, Amano made a similar statement during a board meeting of the IAEA. He said the confidential arrangements with Iran about Parchin were “technically sound and consistent with established IAEA safeguards practices” and “do not compromise our standards in any way.”

Amano’s statements are at odds with what he previously said about IAEA inspections of military facilities in Iran. In June, for example, he said that “the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”

Other nuclear experts who are familiar with IAEA inspections have raised questions about Amano’s u-turn about Parchin.

David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told CNN about the Parchin arrangement: “you have to worry that this would set a bad precedent in the Iran context and in the context of other countries.”

Former IAEA deputy chief Olli Heinonen told CNN that “It is very unusual… I find it really hard to understand why you would let someone else take the samples and only see through the camera… I don’t know why they accepted it. I think the IAEA is probably getting a little desperate to settle this.”

Heinonen’s remark on the IAEA being “desperate to settle this” suggests political pressure on the Atomic Agency to cave in on the Parchin issue.

Amano’s defense of the Parchin side deal came after reports that the IAEA has been subjected to overwhelming pressure by the Americans and the Iranians.

On the American side, the leverage is straightforward: Amano is up for reelection next year, and he perennially relies on Western nations to provide him with slim majorities.

Iran has even threatened to harm Amano personally if he discloses details about the side deal. Fars News in Iran reported last week that Amano knew “he would be harmed” had he not caved in to Iranian demands and revealed details of the side deal to Congress. The fragment about the threat was later erased after it garnered international attention.

The tactics Obama uses to get the nuclear agreement with Iran implemented have cost the President the support of at least one staunch ally, Professor Alan Dershowitz.

“Obama has been a bully. He has tried to squelch opposition to the deal,” Dershowitz said in a recent interview with the Times of Israel.

Dershowitz voted two times for Obama in the presidential election and has met the President on several occasions. He just published a book on the nuclear deal with Iran.

Dershowitz also blasted the administration’s handling of the negotiations with Iran:

It’s a D-minus, with grade inflation. It’s essentially a failing grade. I would not allow this president and this secretary of state (John Kerry) — both of whom I know well, I’ve known them for a long time — I wouldn’t allow these two people to negotiate a 30-day lease for me. They’ve proved to be inept negotiators.

Omri Ceren contributed to this report

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth