Democratic lawmakers, experts critique Iran deal


Democratic lawmakers and regional experts have criticized and questioned the deal signed Tuesday in Vienna by the P5+1 powers and Iran. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said in an official statement, “I’m concerned the redlines we drew have turned into green-lights; that Iran will be required only to limit rather than eliminate its nuclear program, while the international community will be required to lift the sanctions, and that it doesn’t provide for anytime-any-place inspections of suspected sites. The bottom line is: The deal doesn’t end Iran’s nuclear program – it preserves it.” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) was “emphatic” that he would vote against a resolution approving the deal, asking rhetorically, “If all it takes is a bag full of breadcrumbs to build a bomb, can you trust Iran with a bakery the size of La Brea?” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) called aspects of the deal “deeply troubling.”

Ambassador Dennis Ross, the former special adviser for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia in Obama’s State Department, wrote in The Washington Post that the deal “will legitimize the Islamic republic as a threshold nuclear state.” Robert Satloff, the Executive Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, called the deal “a strategy page that maps Iran’s emergence as a regional power, with the full blessing – even support – of the United States and the international community.”

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad congratulated Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on their “glorious victory”: “We are confident the Islamic Republic will continue to back and with more vigor the just causes of all people.”


The nuclear deal announced between the P5+1 powers and Iran yesterday has been received harshly in Saudi Arabia, with local media broadly emphasizing the deal’s flaws, Israel’s i24 website reported today.

A cartoon in Asharq al-Awsat, a pan-Arab daily close to King Salman’s branch of the ruling family, showed a trampled body marked “Middle East”, with a placard saying “nuclear deal” sticking from its head. …


In al-Jazirah daily, columnist Jasser al-Jasser wrote an article headlined “A terrorist Iran instead of a nuclear Iran”, alluding to his fear that the deal would simply

allow Tehran to back Shi’ite Muslim militias and militants.


A concern that such Iranian involvement in Arab countries

was feeding the sectarian conflict that allowed Islamic State to thrive was evident in a cartoon in the Saudi daily al-Watan, also owned by a branch of the ruling family.

The contours of the deal have long concerned the Gulf kingdom. In March, the editor of Al Arabiya cited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling  Iran a “clear and present danger, not just to Israel … but to other U.S. allies in the region.” More recently another prominent Saudi journalist warned that the deal would only strengthen Iran’s hardliners.

Anwar Eshki, a retired Saudi general, met with Israel’s incoming director-general of the Foreign Ministry Dore Gold last month in an unprecedented public meeting between representatives of the two nations to express their common opposition to Iran.

i24 noted that the media’s attacks contrasted with the government’s official “terse statement that welcomed any agreement that would ensure Iran could not develop a nuclear arsenal.” A Saudi official said that “he feared the agreement would make the Middle East more dangerous if it gave too many concessions to an Iranian government,” reflecting a general fear among Saudis that Iran, freed from sanctions, will increasingly “back allies across the region who are opposed by Riyadh.” (via


Whether you’re growing berries in Brooklyn or kale in Karachi, a small device coming soon from an Israeli entrepreneur will help you grow it better on water, hydroponically. “Our solution based on sensors and community lets individuals and smallholder farms access cutting-edge hydroponics technologies, until now available only to big industry,” says Karin Kloosterman, Jaffa-based CEO of Flux.“By monitoring, automating and adjusting optimal conditions for your plants indoors or out, Flux makes the most of your investment, and elevates your plants’ potential. The tool, based on precision agriculture, can increase yields by 30 percent.”Once Flux is mass-manufactured by the end of this year, consumers will be able to buy the patent-pending device through greenhouse builders to optimize their hydroponic crops – everything from cherry tomatoes to rare Japanese melons.“ You just have to plunk it in the water reservoir and it starts monitoring your water chemistry and gives you automated alerts about what to adjust,” Kloosterman, a former writer for ISRAEL21c explains. The system is monitored and controlled from any smartphone or tablet.(via Israel21c)

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