UANI Chairman Senator Joseph Lieberman WaPo Op-ed on Iran Deal


Joe Lieberman is a former Senator from Connecticut and was the 2000 Democrat Party nominee for Vice President. In his last Senatorial election the Dem Party dumped him for a younger guy. Lieberman did not appreciate the lack of support so ran as an Independent and won re-election. On August 14 Joe Lieberman wrote a very logical yet scathing denunciation of Obama and Kerry’s Iran Nuke Deal. It is worth the read.

JRH 8/17/15

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In Case You Missed It: UANI Chairman Senator Joseph Lieberman Op-ed in Washington Post

United Against Nuclear Iran

Sent: 8/17/2015 3:12 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2015
Phone: (212) 922-0063
press@uani.com

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, former U.S. Senator from Connecticut, called on Congress to reject the Iran agreement in an op-ed published Friday, August 14 in The Washington Post.

Congress Should Step Up to Block This Terrible Iran Agreement

By Joseph I. Lieberman
The Washington Post
August 14, 2015

As debate intensifies over the nuclear agreement reached with Iran, the Obama administration has sought to deflect criticism by arguing that there is no alternative to the current framework, no matter what its flaws, and that its rejection by Congress is guaranteed to produce catastrophe – isolating the United States from its allies and destroying any prospect for a diplomatic settlement. A vote against its preferred policy, the administration has argued (not for the first time), is a vote for war.

The administration has used these same arguments before to try to stop Congress from imposing economic sanctions on Iran. Not only did the predictions of catastrophe fail to deter Congress from moving ahead but also, when the sanctions were adopted, the doomsday forecasts were proven wrong – just as the current predictions will be. And when the scare tactics failed and the vote count in Congress started to turn heavily against its position, the White House changed course – just as it can and should now.

I was a member of the Senate when, between 2009 and 2012, Congress developed a series of bills that dramatically increased pressure on Tehran for its illicit nuclear activities, including adopting a measure in late 2011 that effectively banned Iran from selling oil – its economic lifeblood – on international markets. In every case, senior Obama administration officials worked to block congressional efforts, warning that they were unnecessary, counterproductive and even dangerous.

Much like today, the White House repeatedly argued that sanctions would isolate the United States and alienate our allies whose help we needed. In the case of the oil ban, a Cabinet member bluntly told members that adopting the measure risked torpedoing the global economic recovery.

These predictions proved false. In fact, it was only because of the sanctions adopted by Congress, and ultimately signed by President Obama, that sufficient economic pressure was put on the Iranian government that its leaders came to the negotiating table – a truth the Obama administration now accepts and asserts. Our allies and partners did not always welcome new restrictions on doing business in Tehran, but in the end, they decided it was more important to do business in the United States.

It is important for members of Congress deciding how to vote on the current proposal to consider this history because it reminds us of the administration’s past misguided efforts to stop, slow or weaken sanctions bills. Equally important, recent legislative history tells us that as bipartisan congressional support for these bills began to snowball, the White House shifted its position.

At first, members of Congress – particularly Democrats – were warned not to do anything. But as the administration began to see the votes slipping from its grip, it changed tack and started negotiating the timing and scope of the prospective new law.

Indeed, the same drama played out just a few months ago, as Congress debated whether it should review the then-impending nuclear agreement.

Here too, the White House insisted that requiring legislative review and approval of a nuclear agreement with Iran was obstructive and damaging. But when Democrats began to support the legislation, and it was clear that a strong bipartisan coalition was converging around the idea, the administration withdrew its opposition and the president signed the legislation. The current congressional review is the result.

Congress should keep this experience in mind as it reviews the nuclear agreement with Iran. While the White House predictably is trying to scaremonger Capitol Hill into taking no action, experience and common sense suggest that the reality after congressional rejection is likely to be quite different. In the aftermath of Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) principled and courageous stand against the proposed agreement, the prospects for such a bipartisan rejection seem increasingly likely.

If a bipartisan supermajority does in fact begin to cohere in criticism of the undeniable loopholes and inadequacies of the agreement, it is likely the administration will adjust its position. Provisions that today are impossible to change will become subject to renegotiation and clarification.

The best chance for a better deal, in other words, is overwhelming bipartisan pressure from Capitol Hill about the need for one, rather than acquiescing to the Obama administration’s claim that this is the best agreement possible because Iran will go no further.

That conclusion overlooks two truths: First, the Iranians are historically capable of adjusting positions they have claimed were immovable to new political realities, and, second, Iran, because of its depleted economy, needs an agreement much more than we do. Congress has the power now to act on these two realities.

This is an initiative, moreover, that many of our friends and partners are likely to welcome. Certainly the countries most affected by the deal – Israel and the Gulf Arab states – have made no secret of their dismay at the concessions granted to the Iranians in the quest for a settlement. Reportedly, even some of our European allies may not be wholly displeased by some congressional push-back – even if not all of them admit so publicly.

Not so long ago, everyone agreed that no deal with Iran was better than a bad deal. Now, the administration has changed the standard to whether it is possible to get a better deal than the flawed one it got in Vienna. History suggests it is – but we will never know unless a bipartisan super-majority comes together to demand it.

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United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

About UANI

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons. UANI was founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross. UANI’s private sanctions campaigns and state and Federal legislative initiatives focus on ending the economic and financial support of the Iranian regime by corporations at a time when the international community is attempting to compel Iran to abandon its illegal nuclear weapons program, support for terrorism and gross human rights violations.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), based in London, is an independent think tank that works closely with leaders in government, business, media and academia to develop multi-country responses to the major security and socio-economic challenges of our time and enhance Europe’s capacity to act effectively in the global arena. ISD’s activities seek to foster leadership and stability across Europe and its wider neighbourhood, actively bridging inter-communal, religious, socio-economic and political divides.

The UANI-ISD Initiative (UANI-ISD Initiative) is an unprecedented transatlantic partnership dedicated to combatting the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. By partnering together, UANI and ISD combine the knowledge and experience of READ THE REST

UANI Statement and Fact Sheet on Four American Hostages Left Behind in Iran Despite Deal


There is more of an issue with Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal than merely a bad deal. The other part of the issue is Obama made a deal while American citizens are rotting in an Iranian prison either on bogus charges or the offence of being a Christian in a psychoTwelver Shia nation. United Against Nuclear Iran has the tragic details.

JRH 8/15/15

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UANI Statement and Fact Sheet on Four American Hostages Left Behind in Iran Despite Deal

Sent by United Against Nuclear Iran

Sent: Aug 14 at 1:32 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2015
Phone: (212) 922-0063
press@uani.com

First Ad of Renewed UANI Campaign Highlights American Hostages’ Plight

On Tuesday, August 11, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) resumed its multi-million-dollar campaign to educate Americans on the Iran nuclear agreement’s defects with an ad entitled “Leave No Man Behind.” The ad focuses on one of the most glaring flaws in the deal–the continued captivity in Iran of four U.S. hostages:

  •  Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian (1+ year / 389 days in prison)
  •  Pastor Saeed Abedini (3+ years / 1,123 days in prison)
  •  Marine veteran Amir Hekmati (3+ years / 1,447 days in prison)
  •  Former FBI agent Robert Levinson (8+ years / 3,081 days missing)

“Even if the agreement was successful in establishing a permanent and verifiable check on Iranian nuclear ambitions the failure to secure the release of American hostages held in Iran is unacceptable,” said UANI CEO Mark D. Wallace, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and UANI Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman, former U.S. senator from Connecticut. “The American people should consider whether any potential limited and short-term benefits are worth the heavy costs of this agreement–including leaving four Americans behind in Iran.”

Three of the four American hostages are imprisoned by the Iranian regime on trumped-up charges. All four reportedly have been subjected to physical and psychological torture, including forced confessions, extended solitary confinement, and beatings.

Please learn more about the unjust, inhumane captivity of these four Americans below:

Jason Rezaian (age 39), The Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran, has been detained in the country since the summer of 2014. On July 22, 2014, Iranian security forces raided the home of Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, seized laptops and documents and detained the couple. While Salehi, an Iranian national, was released in October 2014, Rezaian remained in custody on unspecified charges.

The Iranian judiciary denied Rezaian bail and prohibited him from speaking with an attorney for nearly 9 months. Additionally, the Iranian government refused to release any information on Rezaian’s welfare and denied the State Department’s requests for consular access through the Swiss embassy.

Rezaian’s case was assigned to Judge Abolghassem Salavati, an infamous “hanging judge” known for imposing harsh punishments including long prison sentences, lashings, and executions. In April 2015, it was revealed that Rezaian was being charged with four crimes, including espionage, “collaborating with hostile governments,” and “propaganda against the establishment.” His trial began on May 26, 2015 but was closed to the public. If convicted, “Rezaian reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison.”

Rezaian has been kept in in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, most of the time in solitary confinement. According to his brother, Rezaian has been forced to sleep on the concrete floor of his cell, and his physical and mental health has deteriorated. Rezaian suffers from recurring eye infections, groin inflammation, and high blood pressure; family members worry “stress and a lack of access to medicine could aggravate his condition.” Rezaian is now considered the longest held Western journalist in Iran.

Saeed Abedini (age 35), a Christian pastor, Muslim convert to Christianity, and dual citizen of Iran and the U.S., has been detained in Iran since the summer of 2012. IRGC members pulled Abedini off of a bus on July 28, 2012 while he was in Iran visiting family and building an orphanage. After intense interrogations, Abedini was placed under house arrest. On September 26, 2012, while awaiting trial, Abedini was abducted from his family’s home in Tehran by five Revolutionary Guards and taken to Evin Prison.

In January 2013, Abedini was sentenced to eight years in prison for “undermining national security by working to establish home-based Christian churches in Iran from 2000 to 2005.” Abedini has been incarcerated in two of Iran’s most brutal prisons–Evin and Rajai Shahr–where he “[has faced] daily threats and abuse because he refuses to deny his Christian faith.”

While in captivity, Abedini has been subjected to “repeated beatings, malnourishment, and lack of proper medical treatment.” Upon visiting his son at Rajai Shahr Prison in December 2013, the pastor’s father reported that Abedini had “visibly lost weight, he is covered from head to toe with lice because of lack of basic hygiene and he has been refused medicine for internal injuries he suffered at the beginning of his incarceration.” As of February 2015, Abedini is still being held in Rajai Shahr Prison.


Amir Hekmati (age 32)
, a former U.S. marine who served in Iraq and an Iranian-American dual citizen, was arrested in August 2011 while on his first trip to Iran to see his aging grandmothers. On August 29, 2011, Iranian authorities abducted Hekmati while he was preparing to go to a Ramadan feast with family. Following his abduction, Hekmati was incarcerated in Evin Prison “with no explanation to his family.”

In January 2012, “Iran’s Revolutionary Court sentenced him to death and aired a televised confession in which he claimed to be a spy for the CIA.” However, “after international outcry, in March 2012 Iran’s Supreme Court overturned his death sentence and ordered a retrial.” In a letter he wrote that was smuggled out of his jail and published in September 2013, Hekmati said, “This is part of a propaganda and hostage-taking effort by Iranian intelligence to secure the release of Iranians abroad being held on security-related charges.” In April 2014, the New York Times reported that Hekmati “was secretly retried by a revolutionary court in December [2013], convicted of ‘practical collaboration with the American government’ and given a 10-year prison term.”

In a letter written to the Iranian ministers of justice and intelligence, Hekmati protested the prison’s cold cells, frequent power blackouts, and vermin. That same month, Hekmati suspended a hunger strike after Evin Prison officials promised that they “would take steps to have his case revisited by Iranian authorities.” While Hekmati suffers from untreated lung infections and is plagued by ticks and lice on a daily basis, he has vowed to resume his hunger strike if “real action is not taken on his case with real results.”

In March 2015, Hekmati renounced his Iranian citizenship and vowed that he would never return to Iran if he were released. In a statement to his mother, Hekmati also reported being tasered during interrogations, whipped on his feet with cables, and being force-fed drugs such as lithium. Prison officials also subjected Hekmati to sleep deprivation and psychological torture.

Prison guards taunted Hekmati following the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April by telling him President Obama did not mention his name during the event. Hekmati’s sister Sarah said he is being made to feel “that the country he put his life on the line for, the one he defended, and the president he voted for has left him behind and are not actively trying to secure his freedom.” In late April, Sarah met with members of Congress and White House officials to discuss her brother’s release.

Robert Levinson (age 67), American private investigator and retired FBI agent, disappeared on March 9, 2007 on Iran’s Kish Island, reportedly while on an unauthorized CIA mission to investigate corruption. He has “not been publicly seen or heard from since.” In late 2010 and early 2011, Levinson’s family received a hostage video and photographs of him, in which he appears gaunt, emaciated, and heavily bearded. Levinson’s family has not received any other information from his captors.

In December 2013, Iran-based American fugitive Dawud Salahuddin disclosed that he witnessed Iranian agents detaining Levinson at the time of his disappearance. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif recently “denied all knowledge of Levinson’s whereabouts,” yet there is “consensus” among U.S. officials that the Iranian government is responsible for Levinson’s abduction and captivity. Levinson suffers from gout, hypertension, and diabetes. Levinson is now considered to be the longest-held hostage in American history.

Recent press coverage of the four American hostages in Iran:

· “Families of Americans Held in Iran: Don’t Forget About Us,” ABC News, July 14, 2015.

· “Iranian Nuclear Deal: What Does It Mean for Americans Held in Iran?, CNN, July 15, 2015.

· “Obama Questioned by CBS News’ Major Garrett on Iran Hostages,” CBS News, July 15, 2015.

· “Wife of Hostage in Iran No Fan of Nuke Deal,” Boston Herald, July 15, 2015.

· “Texan Who Was Hostage in Iran Criticizes Nuclear Pact,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 16, 2015.

· “Brother of U.S. Reporter Held Captive in Iran Pleads for His Release One Year Later,” New York Daily News, July 22, 2015.

· “Pressure Grows to Free Americans in Iran,” Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2015.

· “Kerry on U.S. Prisoners in Iran: We Didn’t Want to Be ‘Hostage to This Agreement,’CBS News, August 11, 2015.

· “U.N. human rights experts call for ‘immediate release’ of Post’s Jason Rezaian,” Washington Post, August 14, 2015.

Recent opinion pieces on the four American hostages in Iran:

· Dana Milbank, “Obama’s News Conference Was a Case for American Weakness,” Washington Post, July 15, 2015.

· Jennifer Rubin, “The Only Reason Obama Lost His Cool in the Iran News Conference,” Washington Post, July 16, 2015.

· Mortimer B. Zuckerman, “Say No to This Appeasement,” U.S. News & World Report, July 24, 2015.

_______________________________

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

About UANI

 

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons. UANI was founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross. UANI’s private sanctions campaigns and state and Federal legislative initiatives focus on ending the economic and financial support of the Iranian regime by corporations at a time when the international community is attempting to compel Iran to abandon its illegal nuclear weapons program, support for terrorism and gross human rights violations.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), based in London, is an independent think tank that works closely with leaders in government, business, media and academia to develop multi-country responses to the major security and socio-economic challenges of our time and enhance Europe’s capacity to act effectively in the global arena. ISD’s activities seek to foster leadership and stability across Europe and its wider neighbourhood, actively bridging inter-communal, religious, socio-economic and political divides.

The UANI-ISD Initiative (UANI-ISD Initiative) is an unprecedented transatlantic partnership dedicated to combatting the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran. By partnering together, UANI and ISD combine the knowledge and experience of over 30 outstanding leaders from North America and Europe with significant expertise in the areas of foreign policy and nuclear nonproliferation. UANI and ISD’s combined expertise and capabilities will strengthen efforts to highlight the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran throughout READ THE REST

Will BHO Continue Useless Sanctions Against Iran?


Iran Missile with wmd potential

 

John R. Houk

© December 6, 2012

 

Iran has hit the news again asserting they shot down an unmanned drone over Iran. The news speculation is that the unmanned drone may have been part of the unmanned stealth weapons. America denies that it was such a weapon like the RQ-170 Sentinel and if there was a drone near the Iran-Afghan border it was a reconnaissance drone that was retrieved after a malfunction.

 

Militaries that are hostile to each have the habit of obfuscating the truth or simply just downright lying. The question is if Iran did shoot down a RQ-170 Sentinel down, did Iran do so over Iran or Afghanistan. If the drone was shot down over Iran, frankly as much as I dislike Iran the case would be it was over sovereign territory. On the other hand if Iran attempted to shoot down any kind of American drone over Afghanistan then Iran stepped another nation’s sovereign territory. And if that is the case, Iran engaged America in military action perhaps to steal the RQ-170 Sentinel technology for itself or to sell to a more scientific capable nation.

 

This is once again one-upmanship of hostility toward the USA and Western nations (which would include Israel). Also since it has become public knowledge that Iran now has the nuke capability to build a nuclear armed weapon, Western nations must get behind America in placing extreme pressure on Iran.

 

If that pressure includes some Israeli sortie raids over Iran, America must stand behind Israel for whatever action Iran may initiate against Israel. Standing behind Israel means support and assistance if Iran unleashes Hezbollah or Hamas or both against Israel as Iranian proxies.

 

I am not a big fan of useless sanctions that America has used against Iran for decades; however this is one sanction that will really bite Iran in the butt. That sanction is against Iran’s central bank which would extremely hinder Iran’s ability to conduct international business deals and transactions.

 

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) sent a letter to President Barack Hussein Obama to have the cajones to take the step of sanctions on Iran’s central bank. Below is the email UANI sent to me.

 

JRH 12/6/11

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In Letter to White House, UANI Calls on President Obama to Support Sanctions Against Iran’s Central Bank

 

Sent by UANI

Sent: December 5, 2011 2:37 PM

 

New York, NY – On Monday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) wrote to President Barack Obama, and called on him to support sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank.

 

The Obama administration has been resisting such sanctions, even though all 100 members of the U.S. Senate voted last week to add them by amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

 

In a Monday letter to President Obama, UANI President, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, wrote:

 

… UANI is concerned about recent reports that your administration is opposed to placing comprehensive, robust sanctions against the regime, including against Bank Markazi, Iran’s central bank.  As you are aware, such action has broad support as demonstrated most recently by the unanimous passage in the Senate of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”), requiring sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Bank Markazi. This amendment followed an earlier letter you received from 92 Senators urging similar action. Bank Markazi is the financial nerve center of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), the entity directly responsible for Iran’s proliferation procurement efforts and sponsorship of terrorist activities.  There is perhaps no other entity than Bank Markazi which, if sanctioned, would put substantive pressure on the Iranian regime to enter into meaningful negotiations.

 

Any short-term economic disruption that may result from sanctioning Bank Markazi pales in comparison to the disruption that will be unleashed should Iran acquire a nuclear weapon.  While hopefully the United States can persuade other members of the international community to support an imposition of sanctions against Bank Markazi, the imposition of even unilateral sanctions would severely hamper Bank Markazi, and by consequence the IRGC, from operating internationally.

 

Click here to read UANI’s full letter to President Obama.

 

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United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

 
The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran should concern every American and be unacceptable to the community of nations. Since 1979 the Iranian regime, most recently under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the US and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran’s development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. In short, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to world peace.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

 

The Objectives of United Against a Nuclear Iran

 

1.   Inform the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons, as well as Iran’s role as a state sponsor of global terrorism, and a major violator of human rights at home and abroad;

 

2.   Heighten awareness nationally and internationally about the danger that a nuclear armed Iran poses to the region and the world;

 

3.   Mobilize public support, utilize media outreach, and persuade our elected leaders to voice a robust and united American opposition to a nuclear Iran;

 

4.   Lay the groundwork for effective US policies in coordination with European and other allies;

 

5.   Persuade the regime in Tehran to desist from its quest for nuclear weapons, while striving not to punish the Iranian people, and;

 

6.   Promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures.

 

UANI is led by an advisory board of outstanding national figures representing all sectors of our country.

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Will BHO Continue Useless Sanctions Against Iran?

John R. Houk

© December 6, 2012

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In Letter to White House, UANI Calls on President Obama to Support Sanctions Against Iran’s Central Bank

             

American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran | 45 Rockefeller Plaza | New York | NY | 10111

 

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