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Unraveling the Iran Deal (or How to Put Iran's Nuclear Program Into Overdrive)


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#41 golden_valley

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:07 PM

Well those two have been effective so far. However Vanity Fair had an article yesterday that put forth the idea that Trump is getting fed up with Kelly. I suspect Kelly has lost his patience in the last couple of weeks while Trump has been almost torpedoing the FISA extension and the whole DACA/immigration thing. Saying that Trump was uninformed about the Wall didn't sit too well with the President.

#42 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:10 PM

 LFC, on 23 January 2018 - 01:36 PM, said:

He believes he can run roughshod across everybody in the world. Reality is going to kick him us in the nuts on this one.

He'll be gone, one way or another, while we're still trying to stop the bleeding.

IMHO the USA's Twilight of Empire was inevitable, but it didn't have to be like this.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#43 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 07:53 PM

 D. C. Sessions, on 23 January 2018 - 07:10 PM, said:



He'll be gone, one way or another, while we're still trying to stop the bleeding.

IMHO the USA's Twilight of Empire was inevitable, but it didn't have to be like this.

Those gas station overhangs keep calling to me...

Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#44 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 10:13 AM

 LFC, on 23 January 2018 - 06:55 PM, said:

Do you mean "adults in the room" like John Kelly? Or maybe Stephen Miller?
No such animal as an adult in the room anymore. Both are reprehensible.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#45 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:11 AM

 Traveler, on 24 January 2018 - 10:13 AM, said:

No such animal as an adult in the room anymore. Both are reprehensible.

There can be somewhat competent people who know what they are doing but are evil/reprehensible vs. the incompetent/clue-less poo-flingers who are also evil/reprehensible.

It is a somewhat open question of which group does more damage.
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
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#46 Traveler

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 06:55 PM

Exactly what I meant.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#47 LFC

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 09:40 AM

If I were in charge of Iran I'd be lining up everything needed to go full throttle on getting nuclear weapons. Thanks Trump for f***ing up a deal you have no replacement for. Of course all he knows to know is that Barack Obama, his better in every way and a nnnnnn... really tall guy did it so he has to destroy it.

Quote

The Iran nuclear deal was in near terminal condition and on life support even before President Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Tillerson’s dismissal this week may hasten its demise.

As CIA chief and Iran hawk Mike Pompeo prepares to run the State Department, the Trump administration is weighing a speedier withdrawal from the agreement than even the president has threatened, according to two U.S. officials and two outside advisers briefed on the matter. They were not authorized to discuss the sensitive negotiations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

While such a scenario is unlikely, the fact it is being floated as an option may give U.S. officials more leverage in negotiations with European signatories to salvage the accord by toughening it. Two such negotiating sessions have already been held and a third is set for Thursday in Berlin.

Trump, who calls the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy achievement the worst deal ever negotiated, has vowed to walk away from the 2015 agreement in mid-May unless Britain, Germany and France join the U.S. in addressing what the president says are its fatal flaws. These include no penalties for Iran’s missile work and support for militant groups in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere.

The deal that was negotiated by the Obama administration and six other countries limits Iran’s enrichment and stockpiling of material that could be applied to a nuclear weapons program. In exchange, Tehran was granted widespread relief from international trade, oil and banking sanctions. Trump’s next deadline to extend some of those concessions is May 12, and he has vowed not to do so again unless the Europeans meet his demands.

Any U.S. withdrawal would likely crater the agreement. If the U.S. begins threatening fines and other punishments for sanctions violations, countries around the world are likely to curtail commerce with Iran. That could prompt the Iranians to walk away as well, and perhaps even restart nuclear activities banned under the accord.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#48 golden_valley

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 09:54 AM

 LFC, on 15 March 2018 - 09:40 AM, said:

If I were in charge of Iran I'd be lining up everything needed to go full throttle on getting nuclear weapons. Thanks Trump for f***ing up a deal you have no replacement for. Of course all he knows to know is that Barack Obama, his better in every way and a nnnnnn... really tall guy did it so he has to destroy it.

What impact would Trump blowing up the Iran deal have on future deals with North Korea?

#49 LFC

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:08 AM

 golden_valley, on 15 March 2018 - 09:54 AM, said:

What impact would Trump blowing up the Iran deal have on future deals with North Korea?

None. Kim won't honor any deal that might be made the instant he thinks he can get away with it. That goes double for a deal made with Trump.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#50 golden_valley

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 10:17 AM

 LFC, on 15 March 2018 - 10:08 AM, said:

None. Kim won't honor any deal that might be made the instant he thinks he can get away with it. That goes double for a deal made with Trump.

And the same for Trump in any deal he makes with anyone?

#51 LFC

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 12:27 PM

And here is Bolton's excuse for unwinding the entire deal.

Quote

Four days into 2018, two Iranian nationals tried to buy parts of an advanced missile in Kyiv, according a spokesperson for the Ukrainian intelligence service. This effort appears to have violated a UN arms embargo on Iran.

Masked men in Ukraine’s secret police arrested the men and found parts of the missile in their vehicle, according to the spokesperson. What followed became a secret diplomatic incident, and both men were detained and then quietly deported to Iran.

Vasyl Hrytsak, the head of Ukraine’s intelligence service, described this all to American government officials during a recent trip to Washington.

The attempt as alleged by Ukrainian intelligence sources likely violated United Nations’ prohibitions on Iranian arms procurement. And it shows Iran may intend to procure weapons that would let it make the Persian Gulf more dangerous than ever.

I'm not saying this is not an issue, just that I fully expect the Trump administration to completely overreact.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#52 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 31 March 2018 - 08:17 AM

Building missiles is not against the deal. Everybody has missiles -- the high-yield payload is the hard part.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#53 LFC

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Posted 02 April 2018 - 09:44 AM

 D. C. Sessions, on 31 March 2018 - 08:17 AM, said:

Building missiles is not against the deal. Everybody has missiles -- the high-yield payload is the hard part.

The opening of the article states:

Quote

Four days into 2018, two Iranian nationals tried to buy parts of an advanced missile in Kyiv, according a spokesperson for the Ukrainian intelligence service. This effort appears to have violated a UN arms embargo on Iran.

My post was because I expect that this is all the excuse Bolton will need. Yes it's a different deal but his bar is low and both he and Trump already want to trash the treaty.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#54 LFC

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:29 PM

Baby Trump squeaks at Iran. Yeah, that'll show 'em.

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Iran would face bigger problems if Tehran restarts its nuclear program and called the nuclear accord with Iran “insane.”

“They will have bigger problems than they have ever had before,” Trump said of Iran at the start of a White House meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who told reporters he wants to contain Iran in the region.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#55 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 05:54 PM

 LFC, on 02 April 2018 - 09:44 AM, said:

My post was because I expect that this is all the excuse Bolton will need.

Bolton doesn't need any excuse. Even when we have treaty relations, Trump is perfectly ready to trash them on a whim.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#56 LFC

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 02:58 PM

Iran is ready to react to Trump as deftly as Kim did, basically by ignoring him and working things out without considering his views or actions. It's like he doesn't even matter.

Quote

Iranian officials have said Iran has prepared any number of responses, including resuming its nuclear program as before—minus the elements that have been put permanently out of commission, such as the heavy water reactor near the city of Arak.

"If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences,” Rouhani warned during a speech late last month. “Iran is prepared for all possible situations.”

Adm. Shamkhani, speaking at a press conference ahead of a trip to Russia on April 24, said abandoning the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which limits a nation’s atomic programs in exchange for the right to pursue peaceful nuclear applications, was one possible response.

"We have put a number of options for ourselves and those options are ready, including options that would involve resuming at a much greater speed our nuclear activities," Zarif told reporters during an April 21 visit to New York. "America never should have feared Iran producing a nuclear bomb, but we will pursue vigorously our nuclear enrichment.”

Iranian officials have rejected reopening negotiations over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or the “better deal” that Trump wants. Far less isolated than in previous years, they speak regularly to top European and Asian officials and likely know how complicated it would be for Trump to get all international parties involved in the deal to reopen talks on a subject that consumed so much diplomatic bandwidth for a dozen years. One of the signal achievements of the Obama administration was to get Russia and China on board for sanctions and the agreement.

Khamenei, Shamkhani, the heads of the IRGC and others also know that Russia, at least, sees Iran as a vital partner in its Middle East ambitions. Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown a willingness to wield its United Nations Security Council veto even on minor matters that affect its partners. For example, Russia on February 26 vetoed a relatively mild U.K.-drafted resolution accusing Iran of violating a Yemen arms embargo.

The Iranians understand that the tough U.N. Security Council sanctions imposed in 2010 that ultimately strangled Iran’s oil-dependent economy and brought it to the negotiating table came about during the brief interregnum when Putin had stepped aside as president and Dmitry Medvedev was at the helm, while the toxic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president of Iran, and the charismatic Obama was U.S. president. Such a geopolitical alignment of stars eludes Trump.

On May 12, when the Trump administration may fail to recertify the nuclear deal, Iran will likely want to make an immediate symbolic gesture, perhaps by ramping up enrichment. Iran’s Natanz facility currently is allowed to operate no more than 5,000 of its oldest-model centrifuges, down from a peak f 20,000 before the nuclear deal.

“Maybe some more centrifuges will start spinning,” said Ali Fathollah-Nejad, an Iran expert at the Brookings Doha Center.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#57 Rue Bella

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 03:14 PM

Quote

It's like he doesn't even matter.

Cuz he doesn't. It doesn't much matter what he says cuz he'll just contradict himself in the blink of an eye. He lies with reckless abandon so what he says can't be counted on. Most of the world just has to sit tight for a few years. Here at home, except for his die-hard hick fans, most of the right just wants to keep his tiny signature hand limbered up and ready to sign whatever they stick in front of him.
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No longer politically correct

#58 LFC

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:34 AM

We recently saw the breaking story about Israeli intelligence firm Black Cube trying to dig up dirt on former Obama officials who were supposedly tied to the Iran deal. TPM is on the story and Josh Marshall covers their successive responses.

Quote

Now Black Cube is out with its third successive response to the story, which of course should be taken with some skepticism.

To review, Black Cube first denied it was behind the operation targeting Rhodes and Kahl. Then it said it didn’t comment on its clients. Now it is saying this: “Black Cube has no relation whatsoever to the Trump administration, to Trump aides, to anyone close to the administration, or to the Iran nuclear deal.”

A source ‘close to the company’ went a bit further with Ha’aretz.

Quote

A source close to the company said the purpose of its data collection was to serve the client’s business or legal interests, and had nothing to do with Trump. The source also said correspondence regarding Iranian nuclear issues related to the business interests of the client who hired the spy firm.

He added that neither the Iranian nuclear program nor Barack Obama associates were at the heart of the intelligence gathering operation: Any mention of them was intended purely to buy the trust of the parties, in order to obtain information not connected to Iran.

I think it should go without saying that saying Black Cube was hired by a “business entity” means basically nothing. I doubt you normally hire a private espionage company just as a personal purchase. Everyone is or has a company that can manage this transaction.

When Black Cube says it was no one tied to Trump, again, you’re talking about a company that has already had three successive explanations. This isn’t even a criticism of the company so much. They’re spies. Spies lie. That’s what they do.

As more information comes out the story gets a bit more odd. Marshall makes the case that the excuse that Black Cube was hired by a company that profited from the Iran sanctions starts falling apart quickly. As they say, "follow the money." The problem is that this action has no commercial ROI. It could, however, have political ROI.

Quote

According to the Times, there’s nothing in the report that suggests who commissioned it. And they found no evidence it was commissioned by people close to President Trump, as the original report in The Guardian suggested. One source they spoke to suggested it was prepared for a commercial client, with direct financial interests in the perpetuations of sanctions against Iran. From the wording of the Times piece, however, it seems like this source’s information wasn’t that direct.

Here’s the key thing to consider. There are various private corporations with interests in perpetuating sanctions, though most would find themselves on the other side of that equation. But if the motive was financial, the entity would want a return on their investment. Neither Rhodes nor Kahl was involved in negotiating the Iran deal. Anything could come out of great personal embarrassment to either one of them and it wouldn’t really make any difference to the Iran Deal. The rightwing focus on Rhodes has always basically been a conspiracy theory in which garden-variety press work pushing the administration’s support for the deal it signed got spun for gullible Fox News rubes into some sort of epic scandal.

The simple fact is that if a commercial concern needed sanctions against Iran for its business purposes, going after two mid-level Obama administration appointees would be an almost comically inefficient way to do it. Targeting these two men seems overwhelmingly more likely to be about domestic U.S. politics because both men remain prominent supporters of the deal on social media and both men, but especially Rhodes is a bugaboo in right-wing media circles. Both have also been accused of working with people still inside the government to leak information damaging to the Trump administration or its policy goals. I have no idea whether that is true or not. But if those suspicions drove someone to hire Black Cube to dig up on dirt on these guys, again, that’s almost certainly going to be about U.S. domestic politics, partisan politics, rather than some commercial entity with purely financial motives.


And finally an automated email supposedly from Black Cube was sent to TPM (the email address is info@blackcube.com) asking them to publish their response in full. Marshall replied asking them for confirmation that the email was really from Black Cube. Hmmmmm.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#59 Traveler

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 10:46 AM

Kahl was on Maddow last night. Dude is seriously smart. Very entertaining interview, even if not all that substantive.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#60 LFC

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Posted 08 May 2018 - 01:29 PM

We're out. Next stop? A nuclear armed Iran.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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