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Everything you need to know about Trump’s de-certification of the JCPOA (Iran nuclear deal)

Trump decertifies the JCPOA – while the EU robustly supports it minutes later

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Donald Trump has just given a speech in which he confirmed that the US will de-certify the JCPOA, often called the “Iran nuclear deal”, especially in the United States. The move is far more complex than a traditional withdrawal from a formal agreement, but nevertheless, indicates that the Trump administration remains firmly fixated on at the very minimum, undermining Iran and the international community’s confidence in the deal. In doing so the United States is ultimately hedging its bets on the deal collapsing before the US formally withdraws from its commitments under the JCPOA. However, this is a gamble that may ultimately backfire in a manner that Trump himself would describe as “big league”.

What is the JCPOA? 

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was agreed upon between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, the European Union and EU members Germany, France and the UK individually on 16 January 2015.

The terms of the deal were certified in UN Security Council Resolution 2231 on 20 July 2015. All members of the Security Council voted in favour of the resolution at the time.

While the UN is the highest international body to formalise the JCPOA, the agreement was also ratified by each party to the agreement using the particular legal mechanisms of each state (and in the case of EU, a bloc of states).

The JCPOA prohibits Iran from taking the measures needed to develop nuclear weapons in exchange for the lifting of multiple sanctions which had previously hindered the ability of Iran to do business not only with the US and EU, but other states whose transactions are often dependent on financial institutions which use Dollars and Euros as a means of exchange.

While the United States has passed unilateral sanctions against Iran subsequent to the JCPOA being agreed upon, it is important to note that the JCPOA only prohibits specific sanctions which are said to relate to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Current status of the JCPOA: 

According to the United Nations, Russia, Iran, China, Germany, France, Britain and the EU, Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA. Even the US State Derpartment and US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis recently said that Iran remains technically compliant with the JCPOA.

Internationally, the Israeli regime was alone in condemning the JCPOA while continually challenging the fact that Iran is in compliance with the agreement.

Today, however, Donald Trump formally announced that it is his view that Iran is not in compliance with the deal. Additionally, Trump offered a list of increasingly absurd allegations about Iran that are not directly related to the letter of the JCPOA.

The following are Trump’s stated grievances, followed as necessary by a factual explanation of the grievances:

–Trump stated that Iran supports terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and the Taliban:

FALSE: Iran is both ideologically and militarily an opponent of both groups and has been since their respective inceptions. Iran, furthermore, has been a victim of Takfiri terrorism.

–Trump expressed concern that Iran is developing ballistic missiles  

True: However, Iran’s missile program is not a violation of the JCPOA in any way, shape or form. The United Nations even clarified this point as did the European Union. 

Trump stated the the JCPOA’s sunset clause is reason enough for the US to consider it a bad deal

Logical Fail: This would imply that the US should want to extend the deal, not tear it apart and lose the confidence of Iran and other international partners

–Trump stated that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is a terrorist group and will be sanctioned as such

False: Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is one of the three main branches of Iran’s armed forces. Far from being a terrorist group, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has been instrumental in fighting terrorism in Iraq and Syria. 

What happens next for the United States: 

As the European Union’s High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini correctly stated, Trump’s decision triggers a domestic legal mechanism which does not immediately trigger any change to the JCPOA’s status at an international level. Of course, the implications are very international and very dangerous, but this shall be addressed separately.

According to the unique mechanism that the US has created to monitor the JCPOA, a US President is responsible for certifying the deal’s legitimacy based on Iran’s alleged compliance or lack thereof, every 90 days. On the 15th of October, 2017, Trump will now formally de-certify the JCPOA at an Executive level.

This means that under the appliable laws, the JCPOA will now be debated in Congress. Congress can negate the deal which would lead to a formal US withdrawal, can attempt to impose further sanctions on Iran which could lead to Tehran calling the JCPOA null and void or the Congress could simply do nothing, meaning that the deal would stand unless Trump decides to use his executive power to formally withdraw the United States, something that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said, the US does not currently plan to do.

What happens next for Iran: 

Iran has publicly indicated that if Washington withdraws from the JPCOA the deal with be null and void as a matter of fact. While such statements are highly serious, they are not technically official statements. They merely indicate Iran’s clear disgust with the United States and Donald Trump’s clearly anti-Iranian sentiments.

In reality there are three possibilities for Iran, many of which depend on the attitude and capablities of Iran’s other JCPOA partners.

1. Iran claims the deal to be null and void and begins to renegotiate new business deals with partners whose financial transactions are not dependant on the US Dollar. This would likely include Russia, China, Venezuela and very certainly Turkey as well. It could also include the EU, if as many EU figures have suggested, they would like to continue cooperating commercially with Iran irrespective of what the US does with the JCPOA.

2. The US formally withdraws from the JCPOA, but the deal remains in place with all the other parties to the deal including Europe. In this sense, the status quo would continue, only with the re-imposition of US sanctions.

Here, Europe would have to decide how much it is willing to do, in order to help Iran skirt US sanctions. In respect of Russia and China, there will be far fewer problems regarding skirting sanctions as both countries are becoming highly independent of Dollar based transactions and seek to further this process ever more rapidly.

3. The US formally withdraws from the JCPOA while Europe grudgingly follows along so as not to incur the wrath of the US which Europe is still largely dependent on in many respects. In such a scenario, Iran would focus almost all of its business endeavours on Russia, China and their partners, which still may well include neighbouring Turkey.

In summary:

Iran’s President Rouhani spoke shortly after Donald Trump and offered a highly measured response to Trump’s aggressive rhetoric. After encouraging Trump and his fellow Washingtonians to learn more about Iran’s history, he indicated that Iran’s position on the JPCOA as of today, is similar to that of Europe.

Rouhani stated,

“The EU and Iran must cooperate with each other to stand up to the destructive and improper moves concerning the JCPOA (the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action).

He continued, saying,

“The JCPOA is not negotiable at all and all sides must remain committed to their obligations under it and the US President or this country’s Congress must not be allowed to carry out a wrong measure against the JCPOA”.

What happens next for Europe: 

The European Union’s High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini offered one of the most robust European rebuttals of a statement from a US President since Germany and France opposed George W. Bush’s war on Iraq in 2003. Crucially, in spite of Brexit talks, the UK government has aligned itself with mainstream European opinion over Iran, while in 2003, a deeply pro-European British leader, Tony Blair followed the US into Iraq.

Mogherini reminded journalists that Trump’s decision is a domestic one which effects the US Congress rather than the status of the JCPOA internationally. She also stated that United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 is the highest authority on the JCPOA and that no US President has the right to cancel a UN Resolution.

She affirmed Europe’s commitment to the JCPOA and Europe’s view that Iran is in full compliance with the deal. The words from both Brussels and Tehran would indicate that there is an increasing chance that the JCPOA could continue, even if the US formally withdraws or otherwise violates the deal in the eyes of the wider united international community.

Furthermore, Mogherini’s statement indicates that if the US either violates the JCPOA or formally withdraws (or both), that the US could be in violation of a UN resolution. While technically UNSC resolution 2231 is non-binding, the US could technically be named and shamed in the Security Council, should the three European countries with veto power decide to carry through with their robust support of the JCPOA.

What happens next for Russia: 

Russia is not only a strong supporter of the JCPOA, but Russia and Iran have been enjoying historically good bilateral relations. In addition to multiple commercial ventures, Russia and Iran, along with Turkey formed the Astana Peace Group for Syria. Russia continues to cooperate with Iran against terrorism in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has released a statement saying,

“Russia remains committed to the JCPOA, is interested in preserving it, and will continue to fulfill its obligations under it. We call on all other participants to do the same”.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said,

“The task is to prevent the collapse of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we are calling on all sides to adhere to its statutes. We think that this agreement has large potential and should be fully implemented”.

As Russia is the closet partner to Iran, among all the parties to the JCPOA, Moscow and Tehran will almost certainly hold intensive talks to attempt to either salvage the JCPOA or come up with a backup proposal among willing partners.

Yesterday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated,

“It’s imperative that Europe sticks together on this issue. We also have to tell the Americans that their behaviour on the Iran issue will drive us Europeans into a common position with Russia and China against the USA”.

This statement indicates that Russia and China could work with Europe to either preserve a post-US JCPOA, convince the US to change its position on the JCPOA or else formulate a new similar proposal which excludes the United States.

What happens next for China: 

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying spoke earlier today and said,

“China’s position on the Iranian nuclear issue has been consistent. The JCPOA has played a key role in upholding international nuclear non-proliferation regime and the peace and stability of the Middle East region. We hope that all relevant parties will continue to uphold and implement the JCPOA”.

China’s position, like that of Russia has been totally consistent towards Iran and what’s more is that China presents Iran and Iran’s wider region substantial economic opportunities via One Belt–One Road. If anything, today’s announcement will only galvanise further Sino-Iranian cooperation efforts.

CONCLUSION: 

Donald Trump’s administration has been plagued with allegations of colluding with a foreign government from the moment he entered office and even before. The allegations have been true only with the caveat that it is not Russia with whom Trump is colluding but instead, that place is Israel.

Donald Trump’s speech about Iran was in parts almost identical to the speech Israel leader Benjamin Netanyahu gave weeks ago before the UN General Assembly.

Fact checking Benjamin Netanyahu’s General Assembly speech

Furthermore, less than 24 hours prior to Trump’s speech, both the US and Israel withdrew their memberships of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) virtually simultaneously, in a clear sign of policy coordination that stinks of a concerted effort which is now being aimed directly at Iran.

In challenging the JCPOA so brazenly, Donald Trump has shown that he is willing to put an Israeli paranoia about Iran, a paranoia which frequently crosses a line into all out hate, above the interests of both his own country and that of America’s most loyal European allies.

The fate of the JCPOA is now in the hands of the other parties to the agreement, but for the United States, all credibility as a negotiating partner has been lost. This applies not only to Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela and China, but also to the European Union.

“America first”, has effectively become: America last.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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Why Joe May be Courting Stacey

Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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