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UANI in the News

Dec 31 2014
Jerusalem Post

UANI Executive Director David Ibsen: "As we enter January 2015 it is worth noting that negotiations over Iran's illicit nuclear program have now made an imprint on three calendar years. Nevertheless, defenders of the seemingly never-ending bargaining process between the US, its allies and Iran continue to spin the original interim agreement struck in November 2013 (the Joint Plan of Action or 'JPA') - as well as the two extensions of the agreement struck in 2014 - as a success. But missing from the spin are cold hard facts. Most notably, despite the JPA and its two extensions, Iran continues to operate centrifuges, research and develop more advanced nuclear technology and missiles, and stonewall international nuclear inspectors with impunity. At the same time, the Iranian regime's extremist behavior and meddling in the region have continued unabated, as have its brutal repression and human rights abuses at home. The unprecedented economic pressure applied to Iran has also subsided. The inability of the parties to strike a final agreement in six months as initially set out under the terms of the JPA in 2013 should make it clear that Iran cannot, or will not, take the steps necessary to verify the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. This is despite the fact that the international community has made a number of considerable concessions to Iran, including an easing of sanctions pressure and recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium. After more than a year of negotiations, there is simply no evidence to suggest that additional attempts to incentivize the Iranians to change course through more concessions or sanctions easing will be effective. Rather, Iran's refusal to make significant and timely concessions warrants a re-imposition and ratcheting up of sanctions... The US has spent enough time around negotiating tables in Geneva, Vienna and New York. It is time to go back to the effective policies of sanctions and economic pressure that brought Iran to the negotiating table in the first place. Iran must understand that there will be catastrophic economic consequences resulting from a failure to reach a final and acceptable agreement. Rudyard Kipling wrote, 'if once you have paid him the Dane-geld, You never get rid of the Dane.' A hundred years later, the analogy is clear: we are indeed paying the Dane, an extremist theocratic terrorist state dangerously close to acquiring nuclear weapons capability. Let us heed Kipling's words."

Nov 20 2014
New York Times
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"As six world powers and Iran race to meet a Monday deadline for an agreement that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program, the United States has staked out an ambitious goal for what an accord should accomplish. American officials say the agreement should slow the Iranian nuclear program enough that it would take Iran at least a year to make enough material for a nuclear bomb if it decided to ignore the accord. 'Our goal is to shut off each pathway sufficient that we know we have a breakout time of a minimum of a year,” Secretary of State John Kerry said last month.' ... 'Enrichment time needs to be pushed to a year,' said Gary Samore, a former senior National Security Council official and president of an advocacy group called United Against Nuclear Iran. 'This is what they need to have in order to sell the deal to Congress and U.S. allies.'"

Oct 21 2014
Jerusalem Post

UANI Executive Director David Ibsen: "Last week, representatives from European and Iranian businesses, trade organizations and think tanks gathered in London to plan for the 'post-sanctions' era. Specifically, the 1st Europe-Iran Forum was convened to facilitate European commercial participation in the Iranian marketplace. Multi-nationals are no doubt eager to re-invest in the Iranian economy, and they are looking forward to the day when sanctions are permanently lifted and commerce may once again start to flow between Teheran and major European capitals. Yet it would be premature for European multi-nationals to begin planning for a post-sanctions Iran while significant European and US sanctions architecture remains in place and before a comprehensive and sustainable agreement that ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program is reached. The deadline for the extension to the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA ) originally struck in Geneva is set to expire on November 24. Many analysts, including members of the respective negotiating teams, remain pessimistic about the prospects of achieving a comprehensive nuclear deal by that date. Moreover, Iran’s 35-year record of financing the world’s most lethal terrorist organizations remains outside the scope of these negotiations. These deadly organizations have targeted American and European citizens as well as Iranian dissidents seeking sanctuary in European cities."

Oct 20 2014
Dagens Industri
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"The influential American lobbying organization 'United Against Nuclear Iran' criticizes Scania's important business in Iran. In a sharp letter to Scania CEO Martin Lundstedt and chairman Martin Winterkorn threatens lobbying organization with Scania's reputation and business interests may be harmed by the Iranian stores. In connection with the truck at the IAA in Hanover in September Di revealed that Iran covertly has become an important market for Scania truck. In its financial statements, Scania has never mentioned Iran's importance, but as Di demonstrated increased Scania order bookings from Iran - thanks to major orders - with about 4,000 trucks in the first half. This means that orders from Iran accounted for at least more than 10 percent of Scania's total order intake of 40,019 vehicles in the first half... UANI protested earlier this fall against the Volkswagen car brand Skoda's participation in a delegation of Czech companies that visited Iran. After protest Skoda chose not to visit Iran."

Oct 16 2014
Wall Street Journal
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"The Europe-Iran Forum concluded in London Thursday. The event brought together Western and Iranian business leaders to explore opportunities in a 'post-sanctions' Islamic Republic, according to its brochure... Also on Wednesday, the Danish engineering firm FLSmidth informed the advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran that it would be pulling out of the forum. A spokesman for the firm confirmed the withdrawal to me. Even so, the brazenness of the forum's post-sanctions talk shows the extent to which, to many Western commercial interests, the sanctions regime targeting Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program appears frayed and perhaps crumbling—the Obama administration’s assurances to the contrary notwithstanding."

Oct 08 2014
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"Iranian banks and firms will seek European investors willing to bet on thawing ties with the outside world in London next week, hoping to overcome caution or even outright hostility among Western governments and pressure groups. The Oct. 15-16 conference, the largest gathering of Iranian commercial officials in London for years, aims to attract capital which the country badly needs due to its long isolation under international sanctions... One U.S. pressure group, which backs tougher sanctions against Tehran, has already criticised the London conference. 'The presence of European businesses at the Europe-Iran Forum directly contravenes the efforts of the international community to maintain economic pressure on the Iranian regime,' said United Against Nuclear Iran."

Aug 17 2014

"'All the five-star hotels are full of Western companies looking to position themselves to do business -- and also Japanese and Chinese companies,' says Sarosh Zaiwalla, a London-based lawyer who specializes in sanctions regulation and who travels frequently to Tehran. Iran has seen a huge surge in the number of Western business delegations, says Amir Cyrus Razzaghi, the head of Ara Enterprise Group, a consulting firm in Tehran that provides market research and business intelligence to clients... Iran -- one of the world's largest closed markets -- may be on the verge of opening for business after years of isolation, says Charles Robertson, chief economist at Renaissance Capital Ltd., a London-based investment firm... Businesses also need to be wary of U.S. political pitfalls and public opinion, says Henry Smith, a Dubai-based senior consultant and Iran analyst at Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd., a consulting firm... Then there's United Against Nuclear Iran, a New York-based group that pressures companies to cease doing business with Iran. 'This is a regime that sponsors terrorism and supports entities that maim and kill U.S. troops around the world,' says David Ibsen, executive director of UANI."

Jul 20 2014
New York Times
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"Behind President Obama’s decision on Friday to extend the Iran nuclear negotiations for four more months is a calculation that the administration has the mix of pressure and incentives just about right: That by keeping the most damaging sanctions, but giving Tehran a taste of what access to its overseas cash reserves might mean, a deal is possible. Congress, and some nuclear experts pushing for a harder line, strongly disagree. It was overwhelming sanctions, and the pressure of covert action against Iran’s nuclear program, that brought the country to the table, they argue. To get a final deal, they contend, the formula is simple: More sanctions, more pressure, and behind it all the lurking threat of military action... Mr. Zarif, in an interview, argued that the sanctions Congress is so proud of have been counterproductive. Before they began in earnest, he said, Iran had 200 centrifuges installed in its facilities; now it has 22,000. More pressure, he contended, will only drive Iran’s leadership to more defiance. Some in the Obama administration agree, saying there is a 'sweet spot' in sanctions where the continuing, gnawing pressure of oil, gas and financial sanctions, which they vowed Friday night to continue, would take their toll, and the prospect of relief would create political pressure in Tehran for a deal. But Gary Samore, President Obama’s former top adviser on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, took a harder line on Friday night. Now the president of United Against Nuclear Iran, an advocacy group, Mr. Samore and the organization’s chief executive, Mark D. Wallace, argued that to get the leverage the administration needs it must 'make clear that Iran remains closed for business and that the uncertainty surrounding these nuclear negotiations makes the business climate in Iran far too risky' for Western capital to re-enter. And, they contended, the negotiating partners should go farther and 'agree on decisive sanctions that would constitute a virtual economic blockade of Iran should Iran fail to agree to an acceptable deal' in the next four months."

Jul 17 2014
New York Times
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"In fact, many of those who have studied Iran’s nuclear program most closely over the years say that if Iran ever decided to build a weapon, it would not be foolish enough to obtain the fuel from well-known facilities that are crawling with international nuclear inspectors. 'They would find another way,' said Gary Samore, who was Mr. Obama’s top adviser for countering unconventional weapons during the first term, and now is president of an advocacy group called United Against Nuclear Iran. But Mr. Samore quickly added that 'a deal must be measured on some objective criteria,' and that in this case 'breakout time is what is going to be used to measure this one.'"

Jul 16 2014
New York Times
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"After three days of intensive talks with his Iranian counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that 'tangible progress' had been made in negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, and that he would return to Washington to consult with President Obama over whether to extend a Sunday deadline for a final agreement. Mr. Kerry said that 'very real gaps' remained, but his tone - and his acknowledgment that Iran had complied with all of its commitments under a temporary agreement that took effect in January - left little doubt he wanted to extend the talks by weeks or months. 'That's where we're headed, I think,' one of his top advisers said. At his own news conference, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, embraced the idea of extending talks beyond the deadline. 'As we stand now, we have made enough headway to be able to tell our political bosses that this is a process worth continuing,' he said. 'This is my recommendation. I am sure Secretary Kerry will make the same recommendation.' ... Mr. Kerry declined to comment on the proposal that Mr. Zarif outlined in an interview with The New York Times for what would amount to an extension of the current short-term agreement for a number of years. Gary Samore, a former senior official on the staff of Mr. Obama's National Security Council, and president of an advocacy group called United Against Nuclear Iran, said that Mr. Zarif's proposal was 'not enough for a deal but enough for an extension of the negotiations.' Olli Heinonen, the former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear monitor, said in an interview that Mr. Zarif's proposal would not add to the time Iran would need to break out of an accord and produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. 'What Zarif suggests is actually to maintain a status quo,' Mr. Heinonen said. 'Thus I do not see that this proposal opens any avenues for a deal.'"