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UANI in the News

Apr 15 2015
Wall Street Journal
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"Vladimir Putin wasted no time turning President Obama’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran into a commercial opportunity, agreeing Monday to sell the mullahs sophisticated air-defense missile systems. Now China plans to join Russia in building new nuclear reactors for the Islamic Republic... China’s role as Iran’s nuclear enabler dates to the 1980s, when Chinese specialists began helping Tehran mine uranium and produce uranium hexafluoride, former Los Alamos official Susan Voss has said. After Tehran came under United Nations sanctions in 2006, Chinese firms kept exporting proscribed metals and chemicals to Iran anyway. In recent years China has been the main buyer of Iranian oil, some purchased legally with sanctions exemptions and some smuggled illicitly by sea, according to the group United Against Nuclear Iran."

Apr 09 2015
Washington Post
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"Gary Samore, a former arms control adviser in the Obama administration who now heads a group United Against Nuclear Iran, said Khamenei's speech reflects Iran's negotiating position on two of the main unresolved issues: the timing of sanctions relief; and whether military facilities can be inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency. 'We probably won't know whether Iran is prepared to be flexible on these issues and accept compromises offered by the U.S. until we reach the next deadline,' he said."

Apr 03 2015
Voice of America
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"Washington's reassurances that the framework nuclear deal reached Thursday will prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb may not be enough to keep Saudi Arabia from taking increasingly bold steps to counter Tehran. And there are new warnings that one of those steps could include transforming the kingdom into a nuclear power, perhaps overnight. 'The Saudi Arabian leadership has said that Saudi Arabia will go nuclear,' said former U.S. ambassador Mark Wallace, now the chief executive officer at the Counter Extremism Project and co-founder of United Against Nuclear Iran [UANI]. 'That may be as easy as paying for and taking delivery of a bomb from Pakistan.'"

Mar 24 2015
Huffington Post
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"'[The Obama Administration has] been reluctant to have an honest, full debate about the Iran deal, and about rapprochement with the Iranian regime. It's been about obfuscation and saying that people who oppose the deal are war mongers,' said David Ibsen, the executive director of United Against Nuclear Iran. 'If you look at what's going on, you'd think that Tom Cotton and Benjamin Netanyahu are the greatest threats to U.S. national security in the last 30 years. Meanwhile, [Syrian President Bashar] Assad is dropping chemical weapons again, there is a total vacuum of authority in Libya, Iran is expanding in influence across the region. And all we hear about is the Bibi speech to Congress and the letter to Iran from the 47 Republicans,' Ibsen continued."

Mar 16 2015
Vice
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"'You can't have a discussion about Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability without talking about the nature of the Iranian regime and its elected officials," says David Ibsen, executive director of United Against a Nuclear Iran, a US organization with a name that's pretty self-explanatory. 'If you look at... how they treat their own population, you're going to see some concerning things that certainly impact young people living in the country... I don't think anyone believes all Iranians think Death to America is a great slogan. But unfortunately, when it comes to nuclear policy or state support of terrorism by the regime and individuals who are in power, their brutality is what you have to observe when you decide whether Iran is to be trusted.'"

Mar 14 2015
New York Times
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"The nature of the agreement raises some questions about its durability. 'I think Kerry is probably right that a future president is likely to honor the agreement as long as Iran does, but the fact that the agreement is not legally binding gives a future president or Congress more flexibility to seek to modify or abrogate the agreement,' said Gary Samore, once Mr. Obama's chief adviser on weapons of mass destruction and now president of an advocacy group called United Against Nuclear Iran. 'The same is true of Iran.'"

Feb 07 2015
Jerusalem Post
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UANI Executive Director David Ibsen & UANI Research Analyst Julie Shain: "In the coming weeks, Congress is expected to resume consideration of Iran sanctions. In response, US and Iranian officials as well as sanctions opponents are preparing their usual barrage of anti-sanctions rhetoric. Sanctions are a clumsy and violent weapon, they say. They are at once devastating and impotent. And most absurd, they are a form of violent extremism. To support these claims, misleading pronouncements about Iranian sanctions will recirculate. Most have been debunked time and again, but because Iranian officials and their surrogates parade them so persistently, some of the most dubious assertions have managed to masquerade as fact. Take the myth that sanctions have devastated Iran's healthcare system. While this is a widely circulated claim, it is also patently untrue... In concert, critics would have us believe that sanctions starve and devastate the Iranian people by depriving them of food, education and healthcare while failing to affect policy change among regime leaders. The inconvenient truth however is that the Iranian regime's rampant corruption, mismanagement and repression have devastated the Iranian economy and restricted freedoms for millions of Iranians. The targeted and multilateral Iran sanctions regime is an effective non-violent policy tool that has raised the costs of the Iranian regime leadership's ongoing intransience and illicit behavior while complementing US diplomatic efforts. It was after all US Secretary of State John Kerry who stated that 'outreach alone is not a strategy. If diplomacy is to work, it must be backed by the prospect of tough, escalating multilateral sanctions strong enough to actually change behavior.' Absent continued sanctions enforcement and the prospect of additional sanctions measures the Iranian regime will have little incentive to abandon its nuclear program. It is time to cut through the cloud of fictions that surround the Iranian sanctions debate. Targeted international sanctions, coupled with responsible humanitarian exemptions, have effectively and responsibly pressured the Iranian regime. These are the facts of the Iranian sanctions. It is time to discern them from the fictions."

Jan 28 2015
Orlando Sentinel
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UANI Executive Director David Ibsen: "With negotiations over Iran's illicit nuclear program having recently resumed, supporters of the seemingly never-ending negotiating process — one that has disproportionally favored Iranian interests — continue to spin the original interim agreement and its subsequent extensions (the Joint Plan of Action) as a success. This false assertion rests on the propagation of several myths, notably that the JPA has frozen Iran's nuclear program; the Iranian regime negotiating team represents a moderate faction distinct from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Supreme Leader and other regime hardliners; and U.S. pressure and negotiating leverage has remained constant throughout the process... It may be comforting to wrap the JPA in a shroud of mythical success, but the facts tell a much different and troubling cautionary tale."

Dec 31 2014
Jerusalem Post
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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.'"