Iran Sanctions Bills/Iran Deal

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Iran Sanctions Bills/Iran Deal

#1

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:27 am

Thread title has changed

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Bloomberg













Israeli Mossad Goes Rogue, Warns U.S. on Iran Sanctions



The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad has broken ranks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling U.S. officials and lawmakers that a new Iran sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress would tank the Iran nuclear negotiations. ...



Israeli intelligence officials have been briefing both Obama administration officials and visiting U.S. senators about their concerns on the Kirk-Menendez bill, which would increase sanctions on Iran only if the Iranian government can't strike a deal with the so-called P5+1 countries by a June 30 deadline or fails to live up to its commitments. Meanwhile, the Israeli prime minister’s office has been supporting the Kirk-Menendez bill, as does the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, ahead of what will be a major foreign policy confrontation between the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government in coming weeks.



Evidence of the Israeli rift surfaced Wednesday when Secretary of State John Kerry said that an unnamed Israeli intelligence official had said the new sanctions bill would be “like throwing a grenade into the process.” But an initial warning from Israeli Mossad leaders was also delivered last week in Israel to a Congressional delegation -- including Corker, Graham, McCain and fellow Republican John Barrasso; Democratic Senators Joe Donnelly and Tim Kaine; and independent Angus King -- according to lawmakers who were present and staff members who were briefed on the exchange. When Menendez (who was not on the trip) heard about the briefing, he quickly phoned Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer to seek clarification. ...



A main pitch of the Kirk-Menendez bill is that is could garner bipartisan -- even perhaps veto-proof -- support in the face of Obama's disapproval. So far, most Democrats have stayed on the sidelines, especially after Obama and Menendez got into a heated argument over the bill at last week’s private Democratic retreat. Kirk and Menendez softened their proposal to make it more palatable to Democrats, by giving the president more flexibility than the previous version and providing the administration waivers after the fact.



Corker, Graham and McCain are trying to woo Democrats to their side by arguing that avoiding sanctions language altogether and simply mandating that the Senate get a vote is a more bipartisan approach. There are only a handful of Democrats that will support any Iran bill, so competition for these votes is heated.


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#2

Post by BillTheCat » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:37 am

I'm really, REALLY starting to find Sen Bob Menendez repulsive. "Tehran talking points"? Fuck you, asshole. :twoup:


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#3

Post by Addie » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:53 pm

Associated Press









Obama Will Not Meet With Netanyahu During Trip To Washington



WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Washington in March, the White House said Thursday, one day after being caught off-guard by Republicans' invitation for the Israeli leader to address a joint session of Congress.



Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said that in keeping with "long-standing practice and principle," the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections.





"Accordingly, the president will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress," Meehan said.



Netanyahu is scheduled to speak to Congress on March 3 and will push for additional sanctions on Iran. He was initially scheduled to address lawmakers in February, but the date was changed so that it could coincide with Netanyahu's trip to Washington to address an annual conference held by AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby group, in early March.








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#4

Post by BillTheCat » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:11 pm







Associated Press







Obama Will Not Meet With Netanyahu During Trip To Washington













:point: Haha, poor Human Orange, once again thwarted by Obama's 3D chess moves.


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#5

Post by Addie » Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:30 am

NPR





Netanyahu Speech To Congress Is High-Risk, High-Reward, Analysts Say ...



Both the threat from Iran and relations with the U.S. are important issues in Israel. Meir Javedanfar, who teaches Iranian politics at Israel's Interdisciplinary Center says that if Netanyahu urges Congress to vote for sanctions against Iran now, he could undermine the ongoing U.S.-Iran negotiations.



"Absolutely nobody in the state of Israel wants Iran to have a nuclear weapon for a nanosecond, nobody," says Javedanfar, but sabotaging the talks would be bad for Israel.



If new sanctions were to be imposed on Iran later, if talks clearly fail, he says that would help Israel by staying aligned with the international coalition involved in the talks. ...





Ezrahi worries that if negotiations with Iran fail, military action — even U.S. military action — could follow. Then, he says, Israel could be accused of undermining a diplomatic resolution. ...



Many political watchers say another risk for Israel involves U.S. domestic politics. If the partisan way Netanyahu's speech was arranged splits congressional support for Israel along party lines, it could threaten the strong bipartisan backing Israel has long had.
















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#6

Post by Addie » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:36 pm

Reuters









Netanyahu defends planned Congress speech as anti-Iran strategy



(Reuters) - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended on Sunday a planned speech to the U.S. Congress about Iran, saying he had a moral obligation to speak out on an issue that poses a mortal threat to Israel.



His visit to Washington in March has opened up a rift with the White House and has drawn accusations in Israel that Netanyahu is undermining the country's core foreign alliance in an effort to win an election due two weeks after the trip.



Briefing his cabinet on the March 3 speech to a joint meeting of Congress, Netanyahu said his priority was to urge the United States and other powers not to negotiate an Iranian nuclear deal that might endanger Israel.



"In coming weeks, the powers are liable to reach a framework agreement with Iran, an agreement liable to leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state," he said in remarks carried by Israeli broadcasters.



"As prime minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weaponry that will be aimed at the State of Israel. This effort is global and I will go anywhere I am invited to make the State of Israel's case and defend its future and existence."








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#7

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:54 am

New York Times









Netanyahu Is Talking to Leading Democrats to Little Effect So Far



WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has been reaching out to leading Capitol Hill Democrats to try to ease criticism over his coming address to Congress, but has made little progress. ...



The calls came at a delicate time. Congress is split over whether to impose further sanctions on Iran as the United States and Tehran negotiate a possible freeze to its disputed nuclear program. President Obama has said any vote on sanctions would jeopardize the talks. Mr. Netanyahu, who is to address the issue in his congressional speech, and many pro-Israel lawmakers in Congress have urged a hard line.



Mr. Netanyahu’s office confirmed Thursday that he had called Democrats and “other friends” in Congress in recent days, and that he “reiterated that the survival of Israel is not a partisan issue.”



Mr. Reid, a strong supporter of Israel, said in an interview that he had had a candid conversation with Mr. Netanyahu. He said he had advised the prime minister that the speech, scheduled for March, had become such a problem that some Democratic senators had backed off their support of the quick imposition of new sanctions on Iran.





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#8

Post by Orlylicious » Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:01 pm



A Strained Alliance: Obama-Netanyahu Rift Grew Over Years



By PETER BAKER and JODI RUDOREN



JAN. 30, 2015

***



Efraim Halevy, a former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, said that calculation was made clear in December when Israel offered no public support for Mr. Obama’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with Cuba, a move he attributed to a desire not to alienate Republicans. “Israel is now placing its bets on one side of the aisle,” Mr. Halevy said. “I think it’s a mistake.”



Bernadette Meehan, a White House spokeswoman, said Friday that the relationship was bigger than any single politician or diplomat. “It is an alliance that shouldn’t be turned into a relationship between two political parties,” she said. “Our relationship is about the strong bonds between the United States and Israel and our people, and our commitment to common interests and values.”



The relationship has seen rough times under many presidents. A quarter-century ago, James A. Baker III, then secretary of state, was so angry that Israel’s deputy foreign minister had said American policy was built “on a foundation of distortion and lies” that for a while he banned him from even entering the State Department. Who was that deputy foreign minister? Benjamin Netanyahu.



By the time Mr. Netanyahu became prime minister, Bill Clinton was president and the two did not always get along either. During the 1996 campaign that first brought Mr. Netanyahu to power, Mr. Clinton made clear that he thought Shimon Peres, then Israel’s prime minister, would be the best hope for peace efforts, drawing criticism from those who saw it as interference in Israel’s elections.



http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/31/world ... f=politics



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#9

Post by TollandRCR » Sun Feb 01, 2015 1:03 pm

Israel and the world will be safer once Netanyahu is no longer Prime Minister.


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#10

Post by Addie » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:05 am

Politico











Democrats might skip Benjamin Netanyahu speech



Vice President Joe Biden won’t commit to attending Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress next month.



He’s not the only one.







Dozens of House Democrats are privately threatening to skip the March 3 address, according to lawmakers and aides, in what’s become the lowest point of a relationship between the Israeli prime minister and President Barack Obama that’s never been good.

Democrats have had to balance publicly supporting Israel with backing Obama, who’s trying to close a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear programs over vehement opposition from Netanyahu, who has expressed concerns that the U.S. president is being naive. Negotiations are facing a deadline at the end of March for a political framework. ...



The showdown puts the White House in a position it isn’t much used to with Netanyahu: appearing to have the political edge. Throughout Obama’s time in office, the prime minister has elbowed his way into American politics to corner and game the president. This time, without much nudging from the White House beyond a complaint about breached protocol, Netanyahu’s speech has sparked criticism across Washington and in the American Jewish community — as well as among diplomats, Israeli officials and domestic political opponents who include his own former ambassador to Washington.








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#11

Post by TollandRCR » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:08 am

A boycott by Democrats might send a useful message to Israelis. I fear that Netanyahu is willing and able to lead Israel to preemptive nuclear war with Iran.


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#12

Post by Addie » Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:36 am

Talking Points Memo









Israeli Official Now Suggests Boehner Misled Netanyahu On Speech





A senior Israeli official is now implying that House Speaker John Boehner led Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to believe that his invitation for the prime minister to speak before Congress in March was bipartisan, according to Reuters.



"It appears that the speaker of Congress made a move, in which we trusted, but which it ultimately became clear was a one sided move and not a move by both sides," Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Friday on a Tel Aviv radio program, per the news outlet. ...



Nonetheless, Hanegbi indicated that Netanyahu would still make the March 3 speech, which also comes two weeks before Israeli elections. He said that the speech could still help secure the two-thirds vote needed to override President Obama's promised veto on any new sanctions on Iran.



"The Republicans know, as the president has already made clear, that he will veto this legislation. So in order to pass legislation that overcomes the veto, two-thirds are required in the Senate," Hanegbi said. "So if the prime minister can persuade another one or two or another three or four, this could have weight."
















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#13

Post by Addie » Fri Feb 06, 2015 11:36 am

Al Jazeera













Netanyahu’s Congress invitation raises eyebrows among some US generals ...



Serving uniformed officers are loath to comment on an inflammatory political question — “You’re inviting me to end my career,” one senior Pentagon officer told me when asked to comment on Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu, “but, if it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not.” But a senior Joint Chiefs of Staff officer who regularly briefs the U.S. high command was willing to speak bluntly in exchange for anonymity. “There’s always been a lot of support for Israel in the military,” the officer said, “but that’s significantly eroded over the last few years. This caps it. It’s one thing for Americans to criticize their president and another entirely for a foreign leader to do it. Netanyahu doesn’t get it. We’re not going to side with him against the commander in chief. Not ever.” ...



Gard’s comments suggest that Netanyahu’s planned speech has reignited questions among a significant number of officers over how the U.S.-Israel relationship is played out in Washington. According to one senior U.S. Army officer, for those in uniform — “from [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin] Dempsey on down” — enlisting Netanyahu to intervene in the making of U.S. policy is not simply “inappropriate” or “meddlesome” but might even violate U.S. law. “Take a look at the Logan Act,” the officer said in a telephone conversation earlier this week. “It says that it’s a violation of U.S. law for an American citizen to work with a foreign official to purposely undermine U.S. policy.”



That 1799 legislation makes it a crime when “any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States.”








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#14

Post by Addie » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:12 pm

Reuters











Israeli election chief puts curbs on Netanyahu's speech to U.S. Congress





(Reuters) - The head of Israel's election commission acted on Monday to limit any pre-election boost Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may get from a March 3 speech to the U.S. Congress in which he will warn of the threat from Iran's nuclear program.



The speech has caused controversy in Israel and the United States, where the Democrats and the White House are angry that the Republican speaker, John Boehner, invited Netanyahu to speak at a sensitive time in the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six big powers including Washington, and only two weeks before Israel's closely fought March 17 election.



Following complaints from opposition parties, election chief Salim Joubran decided that Netanyahu's address should be broadcast with a five-minute delay in Israel, giving news editors time to cut any statements deemed partisan.



"Editors-in-chief of broadcast channels will watch and make sure that nothing the prime minister says can be construed as election campaigning," Joubran said in a statement. "Any campaigning will be omitted from the broadcast."



President Barack Obama, at odds with Netanyahu over the Israeli prime minister's criticism of the nuclear talks, will not meet him during his visit, saying it is a breach of protocol to receive a foreign leader before an election.








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#15

Post by Addie » Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:38 pm

CNN











CNN/ORC poll: Majority of Americans oppose Netanyahu invite





Washington (CNN)A large majority of Americans believe that Republican congressional leaders should not have invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress without consulting the White House, according to a new CNN/ORC survey.





The nationwide poll, released Tuesday, shows 63% of Americans say it was a bad move for congressional leadership to extend the invitation without giving President Barack Obama a heads up that it was coming. Only 33% say it was the right thing to do.



And as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to simmer in the Middle East, the survey found that a similar majority thinks the U.S. should stay out of that fight altogether. ...



Though the speech has become a partisan issue on Capitol Hill, even Republicans are split on whether it was a good idea for leadership to invite Netanyahu without alerting the White House, with a slight majority — 52% — backing the move. Just 14% of Democrats say it was the right thing to do, and just over a third of independents support the move.



But Americans overall believe the U.S. should stay out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with 66% in the new poll advocating the U.S. remain neutral. Of those who do support picking a side, the majority, 29%, back Israel, while only 2% support Palestine.





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#16

Post by Addie » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:21 am

HuffPo









Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken Join Growing List Of Democrats Skipping Netanyahu Speech



Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced Monday that they will not attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Tuesday address to a joint session of Congress.



One day after President Barack Obama said he would veto any new sanctions against Iran, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Netanyahu to make his case to Congress against a nuclear deal. Boehner extended the invitation without first consulting the White House, a move seen by some as disrespectful to Obama. The administration has pushed back on the speech, calling Boehner's invite a breach of protocol. ...



As of Tuesday morning, 60 congressional Democrats have said they are skipping the controversial speech. Among those boycotting are Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Vice President Joe Biden is also missing the speech due to overseas travel.



Obama will not meet with Netanyahu during his time in the U.S. due to his visit's proximity to the mid-March Israeli elections. In a Monday interview with Reuters, Obama said the rift over the prime minister's visit was not personal and will not be "permanently destructive" to U.S.-Israeli ties.








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#17

Post by Addie » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:39 pm

New York Times













Transcript of Netanyahu’s Remarks to Congress





MARCH 3, 2015














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#18

Post by Highlands » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:10 pm

I didn't think that the Legislative Branch had control over how the Executive Branch deals with foreign relations.


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#19

Post by Addie » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:46 pm

Politico











Chuck Schumer bucks White House on Iran



Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of Capitol Hill’s most influential voices in the Iran nuclear debate, is strongly endorsing passage of a law opposed by President Barack Obama that would give Congress an avenue to reject the White House-brokered framework unveiled last week.



The comments Monday by the Democratic leader-in-waiting illustrate the enormity of the task ahead for President Barack Obama and his team: While there’s no guarantee that Congress would ultimately reject an agreement with Iran, there’s an increasingly bipartisan consensus that Congress should at least have the ability to do so.







“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer said in an emailed statement to POLITICO.



Schumer had quietly signed on to a bill allowing congressional review of the Iran deal two weeks ago, but made little fanfare of his co-sponsorship. In a brief statement on Friday, he said only that he’d review the agreement. Now that the outlines of an agreement are known, Schumer’s emphatic statement that Congress has an important role becomes more significant, signaling to fellow Democrats that it’s safe to jump on board the review bill.



His comments came as the White House press secretary was panning the legislation, which was written by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and would allow Congress to vote to suspend the lifting of sanctions. A committee vote on the measure is planned for next week.





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#20

Post by Highlands » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:36 pm

Ugh, fuck this guy.


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#21

Post by esseff44 » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:01 pm

Yes, that does does bode well for the deal. Feinstein has come out in support of the White House. At least, that is her public position, Maybe she should be considered as the replacement for Senator Reid as Leader.



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#22

Post by Addie » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:40 am

HuffPo













Poll: Americans Back Iran Deal, Don't Want Congress To Crush It



WASHINGTON -- Americans mostly approve of the outline of the Iran nuclear deal and don't want Congress to block it, according to a poll released Friday.



The survey by Hart Research on behalf of the Democratically aligned Americans United for Change found that 61 percent of the country favor the deal, while 34 percent oppose it.



And perhaps more importantly, 65 percent of voters don't want Congress to block the deal, compared with 30 percent who do. ...



It also reveals a partisan divide on the issue, with Republican voters being the only ones who oppose the deal -- 52 to 41 percent -- and who are split on whether Congress should interfere, with 48 percent saying to block it and 47 percent wanting the lawmakers to let it advance.





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#23

Post by Addie » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:50 pm

HuffPo











GOP Attempt To Scuttle Obama's Iran Deal Faces Its Own Existential Threats Next Week



WASHINGTON -- The fragile but growing congressional effort to bring oversight to ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran is at risk of unravelling, as lawmakers from both sides push for controversial additions to the bill.



On Tuesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) will formally introduce legislation for markup that would grant Congress the final vote on any nuclear deal and prohibit the president from waiving economic sanctions against Iran for two months while lawmakers review the terms of the agreement.



In the days preceding the markup, senators from both parties have introduced a slew of amendments, with several Democrats seeking to strike the more contentious clauses and Republicans vying to add even more restrictive language. The addition of any one of these could convince some of the more reluctant co-sponsors to abandon ship -- giving President Barack Obama the margin he needs to ensure that his veto is not overridden. ...



The tentative whip count hovers in the mid-60s, and Corker and his allies have suggested they are just one or two members shy of the 67 needed to override a veto. But the situation is remarkably fluid, following the announcement of a framework for an Iranian nuclear deal and a heavy lobbying campaign to sell it by the Obama administration. If certain language is added during Tuesday's markup, it could give Democrats the cover they need to back away.








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#24

Post by SueDB » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:51 pm

I wonder if they GOP can make the bill so toxic that it will have to pass on a party line vote. That seems to be their mission in life.


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#25

Post by Addie » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:05 pm

WaPo











White House indicates Obama will sign compromise Iran bill





WASHINGTON — The White House abruptly agreed Tuesday to a compromise bill that would ensure that Congress has a say in an emerging nuclear deal with Iran.



Just a few hours after news of a compromise trickled out on Capitol Hill, the White House said that President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the bill for weeks, would sign the revised version. The compromise measure, which the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to approve Tuesday, would shorten the time that Congress would have to review details of the bill and approve or disapprove of its provisions. ...



Republicans and Democrats on the committee reached a compromise on the bill as Secretary of State John Kerry and other members of the Cabinet visited Capitol Hill for a second straight day to sell lawmakers on details of a possible final deal and plead for time to reach an accord with Tehran by the end of June. ...



An earlier version of the bill sought to put any agreement by Obama to lift sanctions on Iran on hold for up to 60 days while Congress reviewed it. The compromise before the committee Tuesday would shorten that delay to 30 days. During that time, Obama would be able to lift sanctions imposed through presidential action, but would be blocked from easing sanctions levied by Congress.



If lawmakers rejected an Iran agreement, the president could still use his veto then.








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