A Key Dem Just Made A Huge Announcement That Could Throw A Wrench In Obama’s Plans

The Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama was dealt a massive blow Tuesday when a second Senate Democrat publicly announced his opposition to the agreement, joining about a dozen House Democrats.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday in a speech at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., that he could not support the deal, NBC News reported.

“I have looked into my own soul and my devotion to principle may once again lead me to an unpopular course, but if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it,” Menendez said. “It is for these reasons that I will vote to disapprove the agreement and, if called upon, would vote to override a veto.”

The senior senator from the Garden State has been widely regarded as tough on the Islamic republic — he even excoriated the deal in a statement after it was reached last month:

I’m concerned that the deal ultimately legitimizes Iran as a threshold-nuclear state. I’m concerned the redlines we drew have turned into green-lights; that Iran will be required only to limit rather than eliminate its nuclear program, while the international community will be required to lift the sanctions, and that it doesn’t provide for anytime-any-place inspections of suspected sites. The bottom line is: The deal doesn’t end Iran’s nuclear program – it preserves it.

Coupled with other details, the Iran deal is designed to reduce the number of Iranian centrifuges by two-thirds, ban enrichment at key facilities, and limit Iran’s nuclear material stockpile to 300 kg for 15 years. Instead of two to three months, the U.S. believes it will take the Iranians one year to assemble its first nuclear bomb once the provisions of the deal expire.

Shortly after the deal was reached, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of State John Kerry appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to present the deal. It led to a tense exchange between Kerry and Menendez concerning, among other things, a “snapback” provision that would restore economic sanctions on Iran if the nation violates the deals’ terms.

“If you’re going to snapback, you have to snapback to something,” Menendez said forcefully at the time.

“But senator,” Kerry interrupted, “Senator, snapback is what gives you permission to come back.”

“Let me finish, Mr. Secretary please, don’t eat up my time,” Menendez shot back.

It’s next year! So I don’t understand how we ultimately have a credible belief that snapback means something if in fact you are not going to have the ability to have those sanctions in place!

Menendez joins Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as the only other Senate Democrat to publicly oppose the Iran deal. Coupled with 54 Republicans who are voting or are likely to vote no, the Senate only needs four more Democrats to publicly oppose the deal to reach 60 votes – a veto proof majority to ensure the deal does not become law.

Sixteen Senate Democrats are currently “Undecided,” according to a whip count from The Hill. A House whip count also from The Hill shows 13 Democrats voting or leaning towards voting “No.”

h/t: The Hill

Do you appreciate the courage demonstrated by Sen. Menendez? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

Obama’s Big Vacation Is About To Get Crashed By People Fighting For The One Man Who Needs It Most

According to recent reports, the founder of an ongoing activist campaign to release an American pastor behind bars in Iran is staging a demonstration to coincide with Barack Obama’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard this week. Participants will also stage an event in front of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Boston, Mass., residence.

Joining together in solidarity with Saeed Abedini, imprisoned roughly three years ago, the demonstrators’ message is that any nuclear deal with Iran should include the pastor’s release.

“When the Obama Administration negotiated the Iranian nuclear deal,” said #orangejumpsuit campaign founder Rev. Patrick Mahoney, “they tragically failed to secure the release of Pastor Saeed and three other American citizens imprisoned in that country.”

The group will set up Wednesday at noon in front of Kerry’s Louisburg Square residence and follow up with a trip to Martha’s Vineyard the following day.

A press release issued Tuesday explains that “#orangejumpsuit also wants to remind President Obama that while he enjoys a beautiful family vacation with the First Lady and their two children, Pastor Saeed is being brutalized in a harsh prison cell separated from his wife and two children.”

Mahoney noted that Obama “missed an historic teaching moment” in negotiating the deal, adding the U.S. would have delivered a “powerful message” by making it “clear that no nuclear deal would move forward while an American pastor was being persecuted for his faith.”

Are you praying for Pastor Saeed and his family? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

Something Spotted In A Satellite Picture Could Totally Change The Iran Nuke Debate

New satellite images indicate Iran may be trying to scrub evidence of its activities at one of its most controversial military sites ahead of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection in the fall.

Recent photographs of the Parchin military complex – long believed by intelligence experts to be the site of Iranian nuclear weapons experiments – shows an increase in activity since the nuclear deal was signed.

“David Albright, the president of the Institute for Science and International Security, obtained a commercially available image of the Parchin site taken by satellites on July 26 that shows renewed activity at the Parchin site. He told us there are two new large vehicles, alterations ongoing to roofs of two of the buildings and new structures near two of the buildings,” according to Bloomberg View.

“You have to worry that this could be an attempt by Iran to defeat the sampling, that it’s Iran’s last-ditch effort to eradicate evidence there,” he said. “The day is coming when they are going to have to let the IAEA into Parchin, so they may be desperate to finish sanitizing the site.”

PARCHIN MILITARY COMPLEX, IRAN - JULY 26, 2015:  Institute for Science and International Security analysis using DigitalGlobe imagery is showing renewed activity at a site at the Parchin military complex that has been linked to high explosive work related to the development of nuclear weapons.  Photo DigitalGlobe/ISIS via Getty Images.

PARCHIN MILITARY COMPLEX, IRAN – JULY 26, 2015:  Image Credit: DigitalGlobe

The IAEA and Iran have negotiated a secret “side deal” regarding the past military dimensions of the nation’s nuclear program. The deal requires Iran to give the IAEA access to Parchin no later than October 15. The two side deals have become one of the points of contention among members of Congress, who have 60 days to review the Iranian nuclear deal.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has introduced legislation for the clock not to start on review of the Iran deal until Congress has knowledge of what the side deals entail.

Regarding the new satellite imagery, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said on Tuesday: “I am familiar with it. I think it’s up to the administration to draw their conclusions. Hopefully this is something they will speak on, since it is in many ways verified by commercial imagery. And their actions seem to be against the grain of the agreement.”

A senior intelligence official, when asked about the satellite imagery, told Bloomberg View that the IAEA “was also familiar with what he called ‘sanitization efforts’ since the deal was reached in Vienna, but that the U.S. government and its allies had confidence that the IAEA had the technical means to detect past nuclear work anyway.”

Secretary of State John Kerry has stated that the United States has “absolute knowledge” about what Iran has done in the past, but lawmakers lack that confidence.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said on Tuesday that Iran’s apparent activity at Parchin may not technically be a violation of the overall deal, but calls into question how forthright the nation will be in revealing the full extent of its past nuclear activities.

“The intel briefing [from the Obama administration regarding Parchin] was troubling to me…some of the things that are happening, especially happening in such a blatant way,” he said. “Iran is going to know that we know.”

Democratic Senator Chris Coons, D-Del., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Tuesday that what Iran is doing at Parchin is one of the reasons he is undecided on the overall deal.

“I have concerns about the vigorous efforts by Iran to sanitize Parchin,” he stated. “I’ve gotten some reassurance about how difficult it is for them to effectively conceal what we know to have been their illicit nuclear weapons developments there.”

As reported by Western Journalism, Congress has 60 days to review the deal, with a vote anticipated in September. The Republican majority is expected to reject it, but will need 44 Democrats in the House and 13 in the Senate to override President Obama’s promised veto.

Some Democrats in the House and Senate have already come out against the deal, including Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), who is slated to be the party’s next senate leader and is perhaps the most prominent Jewish-American lawmaker. Fellow Jewish Democrat Reps. Eliot Engel, Steve Israel, Nita Lowey (all from New York), and Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.) have also said they oppose the deal. Additionally, Democrat Reps. Juan Vargas (Ca.) and Grace Meng (N.Y.) will vote against it.

A new Quinnipiac poll finds that Americans oppose the deal by a margin of 2-to-1 (57-28 percent). It garners lukewarm support from Democrats (52 percent for to 32 opposed) and strong opposition from Republicans (86 to 3 percent) and independent voters (55 to 29 percent).

h/t: Breitbart

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

EXPOSED: Obama Administration Hides Crucial Information On Nuke Deal As Iran Refuses To Cooperate With IAEA Again

On Wednesday, Western Journalism reported how the U.S. Administration is using half-truths and outright lies to sell the Iran deal to Congress and the American public.

Today, new information became accessible that shows the administration deliberately hides important information about the deal from the public and Congress.

A question and answer session in the Senate Banking Committee focused on the secret side deals that have been worked out between Iran and the IAEA. The administration says it can’t provide the documents to Congress because they don’t have them, and they don’t have them because they can’t get them. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a previous hearing that he didn’t even know if anyone in the administration had read the documents, that “it’s possible (US Chief Negotiator) Wendy Sherman may have,” but that he definitely had not. Today, Sherman told senators that she hadn’t seen the final copies either, though she had seen some rough drafts.

The so-called side deals consist of documents that are part of a ‘roadmap’ that addresses key concerns about any prior work on a nuclear weapon by Iran. Iran needs to come clean on this so that the IAEA can determine how close Iran is to obtaining a nuclear weapon.

In fact, it is about two documents. One of these documents is about the arrangements on Iran’s past weaponization work; and the other deals with IAEA inspections of Parchin, the military base where Iran is suspected of having conducted tests with detonators for nuclear warheads. Last week, after a classified briefing, Senator Tom Cotton, R-Ark, and Congressman Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., revealed that under the arrangements in one of the side deals, Iran would not grant access to IAEA inspectors at Parchin but instead would take its own samples and send them to the IAEA for investigation.

The senator and congressman had received this information from IAEA officials but had not seen the documents. Apparently the Senate Banking Committee now wants to see the documents, but the administration says it can’t get them.

Not true, says former IAEA inspector Olli Heinonen. He wrote to Business Insider in an e-mail:  

IAEA rules and practices dictate that the IAEA secretariat cannot disclose its agreements to other member states on its own initiative. But there are ways for U.S. diplomats to access them.

Another form of manipulation by the White House that aims to hide important details of the deal from the public was revealed by The Daily Beast. The administration deliberately mixes classified and unclassified information into documents so that lawmakers and their staff cannot make them public.

The Obama administration delivered 18 documents to Congress on July 19, in accordance with legislation requiring a congressional review of the nuclear deal. Only one of these documents is classified, while the remaining 17 are unclassified.

Yet many of these unclassified documents cannot be shared with the public or discussed openly with the press. The protocol for handling these documents, set by the State Department and carried out by Congress, is that these unreleased documents can only be reviewed ‘in camera’—a Latin term that means only those with special clearance can read them—and must be held in various congressional SCIFs.

Most staffers were hesitant to discuss—let alone share—a number of these documents, even though they’re not classified, because they require security clearances to view. By mixing a classified document with unclassified documents, critics of this arrangement contend, important facts are being kept from the public just as Congress is deciding whether to support or oppose the Iran deal.

The Daily Beast interviewed a Senate aide who said: “This is the administration that once said it would be the most transparent administration in history. They’re not acting like it.”

There was more devastating news today about the crucial IAEA investigation into the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program under the deal.

The Wall Street Journal reported that after refusing to grant the IAEA access to military sites like Parchin, the regime in Tehran also refuses access to scientists and others who are working on the nuclear program.

IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that Iran “still hasn’t agreed to let Mr. (Mohsen) Fakhrizadeh or other Iranian military officers and nuclear scientists help the IAEA complete its investigation.”

“We don’t know yet if someone who has a different name to Fakhrizadeh can clarify our issues, that is fine with us,” Amano said about the agency’s requests for interviews with Iranian scientists.

The access to PMD sites and the scientists has become increasingly crucial after the administration folded on demands that would have physically precluded the Iranians from cheating: dismantling centrifuges, shuttering facilities, and so on. All the administration had left after these collapses was the claim that verification would catch the Iranians as they cheat, and resolving PMDs is a prerequisite to a robust verification regime.

Administration officials have always said that this issue must be solved.

John Kerry, for example, said in April of this year about the unlimited access for inspections and verifications: “They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal; it will be done.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby said in June 2015: “We have to resolve our questions about it with specificity. Access is very, very critical. It’s always been critical from day one; it remains critical.”

So it is clear that even the administration’s officials acknowledged: no access means, no reliable verification regime.

Numerous experts have said that this is one of the most important elements of the nuclear deal.

Former IAEA inspector David Albright said in November last year:

A prerequisite for any comprehensive agreement is for the IAEA to know when Iran sought nuclear weapons, how far it got, what types it sought to develop, and how and where it did this work. Was this weapons capability just put on the shelf, waiting to be quickly restarted? The IAEA needs a good baseline of Iran’s military nuclear activities, including the manufacturing of equipment for the program and any weaponization related studies, equipment, and locations. The IAEA needs this information to design a verification regime… Without information about past military nuclear work, it cannot know where to go and who to speak to.

In May 2015, he addressed the issue again:

It is critical to know whether the Islamic Republic had a nuclear-weapons program in the past, how far the work on warheads advanced and whether it continues. Without clear answers to these questions, outsiders will be unable to determine how fast the Iranian regime could construct either a crude nuclear-test device or a deliverable weapon if it chose to renege on an agreement.

Today, it became clear that apart from blocking IAEA access to military sites and nuclear scientists, Iran is again destroying evidence of its past nuclear activities at Parchin.

“The U.S. intelligence community has informed Congress of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin, in broad daylight, days after agreeing to a nuclear deal with world powers… Intelligence officials and lawmakers who have seen the new evidence, which is still classified, told us that satellite imagery picked up by U.S. government assets in mid- and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery to the Parchin site and that the U.S. intelligence community concluded with high confidence that the Iranian government was working to clean up the site ahead of planned inspections by the IAEA,” Bloomberg reported

Iranian state-funded Press TV reported that Iranian officials at the UN had dismissed the report as “ridiculous.” The officials claimed that the heavy machinery in the vicinity of Parchin visible on satellite images was used to build a road near the complex.

The Iranians then made things even worse when they claimed that Parchin has already been inspected by the IAEA. It was a lie that made clear Iran has not changed its ways and continues to cheat on its nuclear program.

Omri Ceren contributed to this report

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

Shock Claim: See Why Krauthammer Just Demolished ‘Delusional’ Obama With 3 Stunning Words

Syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer has never been one to shy away from criticizing President Obama for what he does and what he says. Many times in print and on TV, Krauthammer has called out Obama; so it’s certainly worth noting when the commentator cites what he claims is a “new low” for the president with whom he so frequently and passionately finds fault.

And the focus of Krauthammer’s charge in an appearance on The Kelly File Wednesday night was certainly a stunning moment of demonization in Obama speech-making — the president’s claim in a major speech in defense of his Iran nuke deal that directly compared Republicans in Congress with terror-sponsoring hardliners in Tehran.

Western Journalism pointed out the jaw-dropping charge by a president seemingly so desperate to make his case for congressional approval of the deal that he would resort to such a shocking insult, accusing his critics in Congress of being aligned with America’s declared enemy. Of course, it must be pointed out that Obama chose to target his GOP critics, ignoring the fact that many prominent Democrats in Congress are also lining up against the nuclear pact.

Another nation threatened by the Iranian regime, of course, is Israel. That country’s top official has reacted to Obama’s pro-deal enthusiasm with the same sort of outrage and indignation shown by some GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill after Wednesday’s attack on them by the president. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that when the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, agrees with thousands of Iranians as they chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel,” he and they should be taken seriously.

Krauthammer also believes the Iranian extremists — including the Muslim nation’s radical leadership — should be taken seriously when they repeatedly call for the destruction of the United States and its most loyal Middle East ally. Speaking with Megyn Kelly Wednesday night, “The Hammer” ripped into Obama for refusing to acknowledge that the mullahs in Iran are themselves hardliners who lead the “death” chants.

Krauthammer said Obama is both divisive and “delusional” as he explained why the president’s comparing “Death to America” Iranian hardliners with Republicans in Congress who oppose his Iran nuke deal is a “new low” for Obama’s presidency. You can watch the powerful Krauthammer interview by clicking on the video above.

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