Russia does not accept an auto-triggered mechanism for the “snapback” re-imposition of sanctions should Iran violate any nuclear deal, according to Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin. In a Bloomberg News article, Churkin is quoted as saying, “There can be no automaticity, none whatsoever” in the re-imposition of sanctions. This contradicts statements made by the Obama administration, including by the president himself. “If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place,” President Obama said after the revelation of the framework understanding reached in Lausanne in early April. An unnamed senior official asserted that any final agreement will include the concept of “automaticity” in reinstating sanctions. While the president said that Moscow had agreed “in principle” for a mechanism to quickly reapply sanctions in the event of an Iranian violation, the Russian government has provided no public confirmation of this fact.
The Obama administration is seeking a procedure to implement a snapback mechanism to avoid the necessity of a unanimous vote by the United Nations Security Council. Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said in congressional testimony on April 15, “We are going to secure an arrangement to allow for snapback in New York that doesn’t require Russian or Chinese support.” The snapback provision has become a central tenet of the administration’s argument in favor of the nuclear deal with Iran. In the aftermath of Lausanne, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a red line that all sanctions must be lifted on day one of a deal; President Obama suggested that there could be sanctions relief immediately, but he wanted to ensure that “if Iran doesn’t abide by its agreement that we don’t have to jump through a whole bunch of hoops in order to reinstate sanctions.”
In an April op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz wrote, “Undertaking the ‘snapback’ of sanctions is unlikely to be as clear or as automatic as the phrase implies…Restoring the most effective sanctions will require coordinated international action.” David Rothkopf, CEO of The FP group, which publishes Foreign Policy magazine, wrote, “The Iran sanctions regime is so complex and hard won that it would likely become the Humpty Dumpty of foreign-policy mechanisms – nearly impossible to put back together again once shattered.” He continued that once sanctions are lifted, businesses and countries would have a strong interest in trade and investment in Iran, and would be hesitant to re-impose sanctions.
Hezbollah has embedded its significant terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanese villages, risking the lives of thousands of civilians in the event of another war against Israel, according to a senior Israeli military official quoted in The New York Times Wednesday.
According to the Israeli military official quoted in the report, Hezbollah’s positioning effectively means that “civilians are living in a military compound.”
Because of Hezbollah’s threat to Israel, which includes an estimated 100,000 rockets and hundreds of long-range missiles that could strike anywhere in Israel, the IDF will be forced to respond decisively to any attack and, according to former national security advisor Maj. Gen. (res) Yaakov Amidror, Hezbollah’s use of Lebanese villages as military bases “means that many, many Lebanese will be killed.” Amidror added, “Where is the world? Why does it not stop the buildup?”
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which was passed unanimously to end the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, forbids the transfer of weaponry to Hezbollah. However, Iran has continued to arm Hezbollah and the Security Council has refused to act to enforce the resolution.
The Associated Press added:
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines, said an estimated 200 villages have been turned into “military strongholds.” …
If war breaks out and Hezbollah fires missiles at Israel, these buildings will be targeted by Israel’s air force, the official said, adding that Israel would give civilians time to evacuate.
Two years ago it was reported that Hezbollah exploited civilians by offering reduced price housing to Shiite families who allowed the terrorist group to hide rocket launchers in their homes.(via The Tower)