Iran threatens to walk away from deal upon imposition of any new sanctions


Iran has conveyed a message to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that it would consider the imposition of new sanctions, whether nuclear-related or not, as grounds to “reconsider its commitments” under the nuclear deal. According to Foreign Policy, Iran’s envoy to the UN, Gholamali Khoshroo, submitted a letter to the UNSC that says that Iran would consider walking away from the deal if the U.S., EU, and UN sanctions lifted according to the agreement are “impaired by continued application or the imposition of new sanctions with a nature and scope identical or similar to those that were in place prior to the implementation date, irrespective of whether such new sanctions are introduced on nuclear related or other grounds.” In the UNSC resolution that endorses the agreement, the language stipulates: “The EU and its Member States and the United States…will refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran inconsistent with their commitments not to undermine the successful implementation of this JCPOA.” Some experts suggest that Iran could interpret this language to mean that sanctions “to the extent they have any economic impact on Iran are in violation of the JCPOA because they block the normalization of trade and economic relations.”

The text in the letter appears to go against the administration’s talking points on the matter, in which officials have insisted that they would be able to maintain and/or impose new sanctions due to Iran’s support for terrorism, human rights violations, etc. In a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that the U.S. would be “free to add [non-nuclear-related sanctions].” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the week before, “[W]e reserve the right to put additional sanctions in place to address concerns about terrorism, human rights, and other issues."


A new poll released today shows that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to the pending nuclear deal with Iran. 57 percent of Americans surveyed in a Qunnipiac University poll said that they disapprove of the deal, more than twice as many as the 28 percent in favor. The vast majority of respondents said that they believe the deal will make America less safe. The poll also showed that support for President Barack Obama’s handling of the negotiations with Iran has dropped from 48 percent in late 2013 to 35 percent today. In a press release (.pdf) about the polling, Quinnipiac noted that only 52 percent of Democrats support the deal, underlining the weak support nationwide for the deal. Quinnipiac also found that Americans believe that the deal makes the world “less safe” by a margin of 58 percent to 30 percent. A pair of polls published last week by The Israel Project—one of American Jews, the other of all Americans—found that the more details respondents know about the deal, the less they like it. The Israel Project publishes The Tower. (via


Once a desolate and financially plagued metropolis, Beersheva’s resurgence as a center of modernity, culture, academia and high-tech is impossible to overlook. The four little hummus and ethnic eateries on this small side street are packed with university students and professors, soldiers, young tech engineers and the occasional over-50-year-old. “Beersheva is a great place to live. It’s not a wasteland. It’s a desert city because if you think about the climate it’s hot and dry during the day and it’s cool at night. When compared to the humidity of Tel Aviv, I know which one I’d much rather prefer,” says Ehud Zion-Waldoks, who moved to the city three years ago and works in the university’s media relations department. David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, would be chuffed to know that everyone – from the Advanced Technologies Park entrepreneurs to Ben-Gurion University professors to the businesspeople at the CyberSpark Industry Initiative  to real-estate agents to government leaders – is referring back to his proclamation that “the future of Israel lies in the Negev.” The cranes looming high above the city enthusiastically declare the transformation of this city into the innovation center it is growing to be. Beersheva’s development can be witnessed in its urban design elements (water fountains and bridges), cultural and environmental development (playgrounds and parks) and newly erected university buildings and office towers. (via Israel21c)

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