Iran’s president says security for Israel is ‘not possible,’ pleads for nuclear deal
WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Hassan Rouhani of Iran delivered to the United Nations an extended plea to preserve the Iran nuclear deal while saying it was “not possible” to guarantee Israel security as long as it “usurped” Palestinian lands.
McMaster: Iran deal “fundamentally flawed…how do you trust this regime?”
This is good to see, especially in light of earlier reports that McMaster was in favor of the Iran deal. Could he be coming around to his boss’ point of view, rather than molding Trump’s views to match his own? Free people can only hope.
“McMaster on ‘Fundamentally Flawed’ Iran Nuclear Deal: ‘How Do You Trust This Regime?,’” by Paul Crookston, Daily Caller, September 21, 2017:
…McMaster spoke to CNN’s Chris Cuomo, castigating the deal’s sunset clause, which lifts restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program after 2025, as well as the trustworthiness of the Iranian regime. He said the deal is “fundamentally flawed,” and quoted President Donald Trump’s declaration that the deal, agreed upon by his predecessor Barack Obama, was the worst of “all-time.”
“The deal is fundamentally flawed,” McMaster said. “As the president said, he called it the worst deal of all-time. It gave the Iranian regime all the benefits up front.”
“The flaws of the deal, the sunset clause that could really give this regime, who is not trustworthy, obviously, cover to advance a nuclear program and then have this threshold capability,” he added….
“Iran is continuing missile development, missile development that could be paired with a nuclear program later,” McMaster said. “The regime has not just walked up to the line but crossed the line, spinning too many centrifuges, too much heavy water.”
“So while the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency], the monitoring body, called them out on it and they’ve corrected some of this: How do you trust this regime to do it?” he asked….
“Much more rigorous enforcement is needed – the need to address the fundamental flaw, the sunset clause, the need to address other capabilities that could then threaten the world, from this autocratic, theocratic regime in Iran,” McMaster said….
“So, these are the things we have to work on together, but in the context of an overall Iran strategy, because Iran is destabilizing not just the Middle East, but poses a broader threat,” McMaster said. “Iran is perpetuating this humanitarian and political crisis in the Middle East.”
Iran’s nuclear program:
Rouhani, speaking Wednesday, derided the tough talk about his country delivered a day earlier by President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the launch of this year’s General Assembly in New York. His Twitter feed posted the lines as he spoke.
“Ugly, ignorant words were spoken by the U.S. president against the Iranian nation,” he said. “It’s disgraceful that the Zionist regime not committed to any international instrument or safeguard has the audacity to preach to peaceful nations.”
Trump and Netanyahu in their speeches both cast Iran as a rogue nation and said the 2015 nuclear deal trading sanctions relief for a rollback in Iran’s nuclear program was an “embarrassment.” Trump hinted there would a change in U.S. posture toward the deal, and Netanyahu said it should either be amended or canceled outright.
Rouhani, whose government still fends off criticism from Iranian hardliners opposed to the plan, cast it as a template for international peace deals.
“It belongs to the international community in its entirety and not only one or two countries,” he said of the deal otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “The JCPOA can be a new model for global interactions.” Iran, he said, would “not be the first” to violate the deal.
Rouhani insisted that missile testing was “only for deterrence.” Trump and Netanyahu have said that Iran’s missile advances and its military adventurism are also reasons to re-examine the Iran deal.
The Iranian leader called for peaceful coexistence, but appeared to extend his invitation to everyone but Israel.
“It is not possible for a rogue and racist regime to trample upon the most basic rights of the Palestinians, and be usurpers of this land and enjoy security,” he said.
Rouhani’s predecessors and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have said they regard the entirety of Israel as illegitimate. Rouhani has not made his views clear.
He twice mentioned ancient Iranian gestures of friendship toward the Jews as exemplars of the current regime’s alleged commitment to diversity.
“We are the same people who rescued the Jews from Babylonian servility,” he said, referring to the Jewish communities established in Persia after they wer expelled by the Babylonians from Judea in the sixth century BCE. “Historically backing the oppressed, Iran upholds the right of the Palestinian people as it did those of the Jewish people centuries ago.”