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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

OBAMA'S LEGACY: A MIDDLE EAST NUCLEAR ARMS RACE - SAUDI ARABIA shops for nukes in Pakistan and elsewhere in response to White House surrender to a nuclear IRAN - SENATORS reveal Obama made at least TWO SECRET DEALS WITH IRAN that will NOT be revealed to Congress or the US public

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Key points 
  • It's not just a nuclear war we should fear in the Middle East.  Iran is in a geological unstable area prone to severe earthquakes, which could cause a nuclear accident.
  • There is also the possibility of a takeover by the most deranged fringes of Islam, such as ISIS, which would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons against the West or ME neighbors. 
  • And the ever present threat of rogue Muslim groups acquiring nuclear weapons through purchase or theft.  The more countries with nukes, the greater the danger.
  • On the following article read how the head of state-affiliated Saudi TV channel reveals that Saudi Arabia will 'seriously try to get' nuclear weapons following the Iran deal.
  • Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear deals with France, Russia and South Korea in preparation of building its own nuclear facilities.
  • The fact that Iran won't allow inspectors at its military facilities set a precedent for Saudi Arabia and other countries interested in developing nuclear weapons.
  • Acknowledging the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East John Kerry offered the Saudis protection under a US nuclear umbrella.   This offer does not carry much weight considering the ever shrinking US government credibility and influence in the Middle East. 
  • Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran have long been key rivals vying for influence in the region.
  • Further on this page read "Obama's Age of Nuclear Chaos", an analysis by Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post's Managing Editor. 
  • UPDATE - July 22:  OBAMA NEGOTIATED AT LEAST TWO SECRET DEALS WITH IRAN which he will not reveal to the American public, Congress or other nations, according to Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Congressmen Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) - Read more further down this page
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok
While US President Barack Obama claimed he prevented a nuclear arms race in the Middle East when he presented the Iran deal last Tuesday, a key source in Saudi Arabia laid bare that claim by expressing the country's sense of urgency to acquire its own nuclear weapon.

Continue reading this article, new updates, article by experts warning of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East as a result of the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, and analysis by Caroline Glick.

Jamal Khashoggi, head of the Saudi Al Arab news channel that is owned by a prince of the ruling Saudi royal family, and who previously was the media aide to Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Prince Turki al Faisal, revealed that Saudi Arabia may be going nuclear very soon.
"I think Saudi Arabia would seriously try to get the (nuclear) bomb if Iran did.
It's just like India and Pakistan. The Pakistanis said for years they didn't want one, but when India got it, so did they," Khashoggi told Reuters on Tuesday.
The statement confirms the warnings by experts, who said that the Saudis will likely rush to obtain a nuclear weapon feeling threatened by the Iran nuclear deal, which critics warn will pave the Islamic regime's path to a nuclear arsenal.
Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran have long been key rivals vying for influence in the region.
If Saudi Arabia were to go for a nuclear bomb it would likely face international sanctions, but it remains unclear if the Saudi economy could actually be threatened given the global dependence on Saudi oil; Saudi Arabia is the leading oil exporter in the world.
"I'm sure Saudi Arabia is ready to withstand pressure. It would have moral standing. If the Iranians and Israelis have it, we would have to have it to," said Khashoggi regarding Saudi ability to withstand sanctions, arguing that the oil export would protect it from pressure.
Strengthening that argument is past evidence, as back in 1973 a Saudi oil embargo proved incredibly detrimental to the global economy, meaning global powers may be loathe to try and pressure Saudi Arabia for fear of a trade backlash.
Saudi nuclear deals
Saudi Arabia has been actively working to obtain nuclear power, recently signing nuclear deals with France, Russia and South Korea in preparation of building its own nuclear facilities; the Saudi nuclear deal with Russia was signed just last month.
Those deals come after the Saudi nuclear organization, the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE), back in 2012 recommended installing 17 gigawatts of nuclear power in the Gulf state. No concrete plans have yet been released for implementing that suggestion, but the new nuclear deals may see that change soon.
However, there may be difficulties in turning a potential Saudi nuclear program into a nuclear arms program.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman
King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Reuters)
Karl Dewey, the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear analyst at IHS Janes, told Reuters, "it's very technically challenging to obtain the fissile material needed for a weapon and with the enhanced safeguard measures of the model additional protocol, the risk of detection is great."
Dewey was referencing a protocol on inspections in the Iran deal that would likely be a condition for a Saudi nuclear program.
Despite that appraisal, Iran has been covertly receiving nuclear weapons technology from North Korea, and Saudi Arabia would potentially be able to similarly get its hands on such technology as well, possibly from Pakistan.
Iran:  No inspectors at military facilities allowed
Also, Iran has adamantly said that international inspectors will not be allowed in its covert military facilities where it is said that nuclear weapons testing is being conducted, a precedent that may have impact on Saudi Arabia's standing.
Iran will gain nuclear technology and over $100 billion in sanctions relief from the deal, and in ten years limitations on its program will be lifted allowing it to breakout to a nuclear arsenal in no time.
In an apparent admission of of how the deal will allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and recognition that the Saudis are likely to do so as a result of the deal as well, US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly offered the Saudis a nuclear umbrella back in March.
Given Khashoggi's statements, it would appear the Saudis are more interested in having their own nuclear weapons to deter their rival Iran, rather than being reliant upon the US.



Report: Obama Negotiated at least TWO Secret Side Deals With Iranian Regime

The Obama administration negotiated two secret side deals with the Iranian regime during talks in Vienna. The deals concern international inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites.National Review reported:
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Congressmen Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) issued a press release today on a startling discovery they made during a July 17 meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency officials in Vienna: There are two secret side deals to the nuclear agreement with Iran that will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the U.S. public.
One of these side deals concerns inspection of the Parchin military base, where Iran reportedly has conducted explosive testing related to nuclear-warhead development. The Iranian government has refused to allow the IAEA to visit this site. Over the last several years, Iran has taken steps to clean up evidence of weapons-related activity at Parchin.
The other secret side deal concerns how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions (PMDs) of Iran’s nuclear program. In late 2013, Iran agreed to resolve IAEA questions about nuclear weapons-related work in twelve areas. Iran only answered questions in one of these areas and rejected the rest as based on forgeries and fabrications.
Former Department of Energy official William Tobey explained in a July 15 Wall Street Journal op-ed why it is crucial that Iran resolve the PMD issue. According to Tobey, “for inspections to be meaningful, Iran would have to completely and correctly declare all its relevant nuclear activities and procurement, past and present.”
The two US senators issued a press release after the discovery of the secret deal.

Rantburg reported:

From the press release:
“According to the IAEA, the Iran agreement negotiators, including the Obama administration, agreed that the IAEA and Iran would forge separate arrangements to govern the inspection of the Parchin military complex – one of the most secretive military facilities in Iran – and how Iran would satisfy the IAEA’s outstanding questions regarding past weaponization work.

"Both arrangements will not be vetted by any organization other than Iran and the IAEA, and will not be released even to the nations that negotiated the JCPOA. This means that the secret arrangements have not been released for public scrutiny and have not been submitted to Congress as part of its legislatively mandated review of the Iran deal.”
The American public has not been given all the facts on the Iran deal, nor has congress. This is not only distressing but a violation:
Even under the woefully inadequate Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the Obama administration is required to provide the U.S. Congress with all nuclear agreement documents, including all “annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.”

Senator Tom Cotton's website: 
Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Congressman Mike Pompeo (KS-04) on Friday had a meeting in Vienna with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), during which the agency conveyed to the lawmakers that two side deals made between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will remain secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public. One agreement covers the inspection of the Parchin military complex, and the second details how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues on possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.

- Quote by quote on VIDEO 
- The US government will also teach IRAN how to PROTECT its nuclear program from (Israeli) sabotage, and how to construct next generation of centrifuges TO ENRICH URANIUM
- See comparison between 1938 and 2015 deals 
Read more


Saudi Arabia Could Buy the Bomb

Experts fear the first country to go nuclear after a deal won’t be Iran, but Saudi Arabia.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s most explicit warning of the dangers of a “bad deal” with Iran are not that Iran would immediately get the bomb, but that other countries in the region might accelerate efforts to catch up with Tehran.
According to Emily B. Landau of the Institute of National Security Studies, whose expertise lies in nuclear proliferation and armament, all eyes are on Saudi Arabia.
Following Iran, “Saudi Arabia is the #1 contender to get nuclear weapons because there is a perceived relationship there with Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has financed Pakistan’s ballistic missile program and there might be some arrangement already in place on nuclear capability,” she said
“Saudi Arabia might be able to buy a bomb from Pakistan.”
Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani meets Saudi deputy FM Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah
Pakistani PM Yusuf Raza Gilani meets
 Saudi deputy FM Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah - Reuters
Ms. Landau emphasizes that she is not saying anything new here. The speculation that Saudi Arabia (as well as Egypt and Turkey) would go nuclear in response to Iran’s program is an old one. Still, Saudi Arabia’s motivation might be more pronounced because regional proximity to Iran and because Riyadh has the financial means to compete.
“Saudi Arabia is the most motivated to get a nuclear weapon because of the Persian Gulf ‘subregional’ rivalry. Egypt and Turkey also have the motivation to be contenders and are not comfortable with Iran having a strategic edge over them.”
She went on to say that Iran is not unique in its motivation to at the least reach the so-called “nuclear threshold” where it would take very little effort to flip a civilian program to a military one.
“The tendency of countries who are members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is to build civilian programs first or to build the infrastructure that can be turned to military purposes. Remember, the technology used for enriching uranium for civilian energy is the same used in the process to create higher grades for weapons.”
Arutz Sheva asked her more specifically about Turkey, given that many experts feel Turkey is trying to gain more influence in the region. She could not say for sure that Turkey would assuredly try to launch a military nuclear program or follow the Saudis in buying a weapon, but the temptation exists.
“I can say in terms of motivation that, yes, because Turkey wants to have a more assertive role in the Middle East. This was less the case when Turkey was trying to become a member of the European Union, but over the last 10 years you can look at their interest in playing mediator in the Middle East.”
She outlines attempts to usurp Egypt as the primary mediator between Israel and the Palestinians as early as Operation Cast Lead (2008-09), though Cairo maintained that role.
When asked how any of these countries might actually gain from having the bomb if there was a very slim chance they would use it, she explained that even the miniscule chance a nuclear weapon could be used in combat forces armies and governments to recalculate their strategy.
“Israel is an assumed nuclear state but is defensive in the nuclear realm. I don’t think this will be the case with Iran. Iran has hegemonic ambition and would like nuclear weapons to serve its interests in expanding those ambitions throughout the region.”
She tried to illustrate an example to explain how Saudi Arabia might be hesitant to stop more explicit Iranian aggression. She considered the possibility Iran might try to conquer the tiny island of Bahrain, a strategic Saudi partner where the Sunni-controlled government dominates the lives of its Shiite majority.
“Let’s take a theoretical scenario where Iran wants to take over Bahrain. If Iran had nuclear weapons, no state might see the country as important enough to confront Iran coercively. When nuclear weapons are in play, mind-games are the reality. With the small, small chance that a state might use those weapons, there is deterrence.”
She noted Saudi Arabia is as nervous as, if not more so than, Israel. However, the Kingdom has not utilized its public profile as much as Prime Minister Netanyahu to make known its objections to the current direction of the Iran nuclear negotiations.
She emphasized that Iran getting the bomb will have real implications on every other Middle Eastern country’s ability to counter Iran in Yemen or Iraq or Syria.
“Particular to nuclear studies – as opposed to Middle Eastern studies – getting the strategic value of the nuclear weapon isn’t a function of using that weapon. Nuclear weapons have strategic value across the board for whatever state has them.”
“Weapons of non-use come into play in deterrent relationships – like the United States and Soviet Union or between India and Pakistan, today. They have an influence on the way states relate to each other.”
That last point is the primary motivator for a country like Saudi Arabia: equivalency. If Saudi Arabia has a nuclear capability, particularly one already past a nuclear threshold, it can protect against further Iranian moves like in Yemen or Iraq.
Notably, it could also facilitate any Saudi military operations in those areas. Still, Ms. Landau refused to promise Saudi Arabia would launch any military operations against Houthi rebels in Yemen or get more intimately involved in the wars in Syria and Iraq.
“The motivation to get some sort of nuclear capability will definitely be strong. I don’t think they’re necessarily going to take action on multiple fronts though, especially at such a sensitive time when they feel Iran is at an advanced stage.”

 Obama’s Age of Nuclear Chaos

By Caroline Glick,
Managing Editor, Jerusalem Post

On Tuesday, we moved into a new nuclear age.

CarolineGlick.jpg In the old nuclear age, the US-led West had a system for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It had three components: sanctions, deterrence and military force. In recent years we have witnessed the successful deployment of all three.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the UN Security Council imposed a harsh sanctions regime on Iraq. One of its purposes was to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons.

After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, we learned that the sanctions had been successful. Saddam largely abandoned his nuclear program due to sanctions pressure.
The US-led invasion of Iraq terrified several rogue regimes in the region. In the two to three years immediately following the invasion, America’s deterrent strength soared to unprecedented heights.

No one was more deterred by the Americans in those years than then-Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. In 2004, Gaddafi divulged all the details of his secret nuclear program and handed all his nuclear materials over to the Americans.

As for military force, the nuclear installation that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad built in Deir a-Zour with Iranian money and North Korean technicians wasn’t destroyed through sanctions or deterrence.

According to foreign media reports, in September 2007, Israel concluded that these paths to preventing nuclear proliferation to Syria would be unsuccessful.

So then-prime minister Ehud Olmert ordered the IDF to destroy it. The outbreak of the Syrian civil war three years later has prevented Assad and his Iranian bosses from reinstating the program, to date.

The old nuclear nonproliferation regime was highly flawed.

Pakistan and North Korea exploited the post-Cold War weaknesses of its sanctions and deterrence components to develop and proliferate nuclear weapons and technologies.

Due to American weakness, neither paid a serious price for its actions.

Yet, for all its flaws and leaks, the damage caused to the nonproliferation system by American weakness toward Pakistan and North Korea is small potatoes in comparison to the destruction that Tuesday’s deal with Iran has wrought.

That deal doesn’t merely show that the US is unwilling to exact a price from states that illicitly develop nuclear weapons. The US and its allies just concluded a deal that requires them to facilitate Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Not only will the US and its allies remove the sanctions imposed on Iran over the past decade and so start the flow of some $150 billion to the ayatollahs’ treasury. They will help Iran develop advanced centrifuges.

They even committed themselves to protecting Iran’s nuclear facilities from attack and sabotage.

Under the deal, in five years, Iran will have unlimited access to the international conventional arms market. In eight years, Iran will be able to purchase and develop whatever missile systems it desires.

And in 10 years, most of the limitations on its nuclear program will be removed.

Because the deal permits Iran to develop advanced centrifuges, when the agreement ends in 10 years, Iran will be positioned to develop nuclear weapons immediately.

In other words, if Iran abides by the agreement, or isn’t punished for cheating on it, in 10 years, the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world will be rich, in possession of a modernized military, a ballistic missile arsenal capable of carrying nuclear warheads to any spot on earth, and the nuclear warheads themselves.

Facing this new nuclear reality, the states of the region, including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and perhaps the emirates, will likely begin to develop nuclear arsenals. ISIS will likely use the remnants of the Iraqi and Syrian programs to build its own nuclear program.

Right now, chances are small that Congress will torpedo Barack Obama’s deal. Obama and his backers plan to spend huge sums to block Republican efforts to convince 13 Democratic senators and 43 Democratic congressmen to vote against the deal and so achieve the requisite two-thirds majority to cancel American participation in the deal.

Despite the slim chances, opponents of the deal, including Israel, must do everything they can to convince the Democrats to vote against it in September. If Congress votes down the deal, the nuclear chaos Obama unleashed on Tuesday can be more easily reduced by his successor in the White House.

If Congress rejects the deal, then US sanctions against Iran will remain in force.

Although most of the money that will flow to Iran as a result of the deal is now frozen due to multilateral sanctions, and so will be transferred to Iran regardless of congressional action, retaining US sanctions will make it easier politically and bureaucratically for Obama’s replacement to take the necessary steps to dismantle the deal.

Just as the money will flow to Iran regardless of Congress’s vote, so Iran’s path to the bomb is paved regardless of what Congress does.

Under one scenario, if Congress rejects the deal, Iran will walk away from it and intensify its nuclear activities in order to become a nuclear threshold state as quickly as possible. Since the deal has destroyed any potential international coalition against Iran’s illegal program, no one will bat a lash.

Obama will be deeply bitter if Congress rejects his “historic achievement.” He can be expected to do as little as possible to enforce the US sanctions regime against his Iranian comrades. Certainly he will take no military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

As a consequence, regardless of congressional action, Iran knows that it has a free hand to develop nuclear weapons at least until the next president is inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

The other possible outcome of a congressional rejection of the deal is that Iran will stay in the deal and the US will be the odd man out.

In a bid to tie the hands of her boss’s successor and render Congress powerless to curb his actions, the day before the deal was concluded, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power circulated a binding draft resolution to Security Council members that would prohibit member nations from taking action to harm the agreement.

If the resolution passes – and it is impossible to imagine it failing to pass – then Iran can stay in the deal, develop the bomb with international support and the US will be found in breach of a binding UN Security Council resolution.

Given that under all scenarios, Tuesday’s deal ensures that Iran will become a threshold nuclear power, it must be assumed that Iran’s neighbors will now seek their own nuclear options.

Moreover, in light of Obama’s end-run around the Congress, it is clear that regardless of congressional action, the deal has already ruined the 70-year old nonproliferation system that prevented nuclear chaos and war.

After all, now that the US has capitulated to Iran, its avowed foe and the greatest state sponsor of terrorism, who will take future American calls for sanctions against nuclear proliferators seriously?

Who will be deterred by American threats that “all options are on the table” when the US has agreed to protect Iran’s nuclear installations and develop advanced centrifuges for the same ayatollahs who daily chant, “Death to America”?

For Israel, the destruction of the West’s nonproliferation regime means that from here on out, we will be living in a region buzzing with nuclear activity.

Until Tuesday, Israel relied on the West to deter most of its neighbors from developing nuclear weapons. And when the West failed, Israel dealt with the situation by sending in the air force.

Now, on the one hand Israel has no West to rely on for sanctions or deterrence, and on the other hand, it has limited or no military options of its own against many of the actors that will now seek to develop nuclear arsenals.

Consider Israel’s situation. How could Israel take action against an Egyptian or Jordanian nuclear reactor, for instance?

Both neighboring states are working with Israel to defeat jihadist forces threatening them all. And that cooperation extends to other common threats. Given these close and constructive ties, it’s hard to see how Israel could contemplate attacking them.

But on the other hand, the regimes in Amman and Cairo are under unprecedented threat.

In theory they can be toppled at any moment by jihadist forces, from the Muslim Brotherhood to ISIS. It’s already happened once in Egypt.

The same considerations apply to Saudi Arabia.

As for Turkey, its NATO membership means that if Israel were to attack Turkish nuclear sites, it would run the risk of placing itself at war not only with Turkey, but with NATO.

Given Israel’s limited military options, we will soon find ourselves living under constant nuclear threat. Under these new circumstances, Israel must invest every possible effort in developing and deploying active nuclear defenses.

One key aspect to this is missile defense systems, which Israel is already developing. But nuclear bombs can be launched in any number of ways. Old fashioned bombs dropped from airplanes are one option. Artillery is another. Even suicide trucks are good for the job.

Israel needs to develop the means to defend itself against all of these delivery mechanisms. At the same time, we will need to operate in hostile countries such as Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere to destroy deliveries of nuclear materiel whether transferred by air, sea or land.

Here is the place to mention that Israel still may have the ability to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. If it does, then it should attack them as quickly and effectively as possible.

No, a successful Israeli attack cannot turn back the clock. Israel cannot replace the US as a regional superpower, dictating policy to our neighbors.

But a successful attack on Iran’s nuclear program along with the adoption of a vigilantly upheld strategy of active nuclear defense can form the basis of a successful Israeli nuclear defense system.

And no, Israel shouldn’t be overly concerned with how Obama will respond to such actions.

Just as Obama’s nuclear capitulation to Iran has destroyed his influence among our Arab neighbors, so his ability to force Israel to sit on the sidelines as he gives Iran a nuclear arsenal is severely constrained.

How will he punish Israel for defying him? By signing a nuclear deal with Iran that destroys 70 years of US nonproliferation strategy, allows the Iranian regime to grow rich on sanctions relief, become a regional hegemon while expanding its support for terrorism and develop nuclear weapons?

Years from now, perhaps historians will point out the irony that Obama, who loudly proclaims his goal of making the world free of nuclear weapons, has ushered in an era of mass nuclear proliferation and chaos.

Israel can ill afford the luxury of pondering irony.

One day the nuclear Furies Obama has unleashed may find their way to New York City.

But their path to America runs through Israel. We need to ready ourselves to destroy them before they cross our border.


Originally published in the  Jerusalem Post 

Caroline Glick's blog

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