In rebuke of Iran deal, House opposes resolution of approval


On Friday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted against (tally: 162-269) a resolution to approve the Iran deal and voted for a resolution prohibiting the President from lifting sanctions against Iran until 2017, when a new President takes office. Recent polls, including one by TIP, have shown that far more people disapprove of the deal than approve. Surveys conducted last month by Quinnipiac University and CNN even showed a majority of voters against the deal. On Thursday, progressive Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) voiced her opposition to the deal, stating that “the risks inherent in this deal outweigh the rewards” and that she is concerned the agreement “will escalate a conventional arms race in the Middle East and further destabilize the region.”

On Thursday the House voted for a resolution stating that the President had violated the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act because he did not provide Congress with the text of the secret side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The Act, which was passed almost unanimously by the Senate, requires the President to provide Congress with the agreement “and any additional materials related thereto, including annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements.” Opponents of the deal are now considering a lawsuit against the administration. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) stated, "Clearly, our members do not believe the president has complied with the law." The White House has argued that it is not in possession of the relevant documents but Olli Heinonen, a former Deputy Director-General of the IAEA has explained that as a member of the IAEA Board, the US could call for the secret documents to be released. Heinonen stated, "According to the IAEA rules and practices such documents could be made available to the members of the IAEA Board... If a board member asks it and others resist the distribution ... this can be overcome by a vote... Simple majority is enough, and no vetoes exist in the IAEA system."


Many of the senators who support the nuclear deal with Iran, and who voted Thursday to filibuster and prevent an up-or-down vote, have made strong cases against the deal they advocate for, Mitchell Bard, executive director of the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, observed in The Times of Israel Thursday.Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on Tuesday that the final deal “is not the agreement I would have accepted at the negotiating table.” Bard observed that Blumenthal is working with Sen. Ben Cardin (D – Md.), who opposed the deal, to introduce legislation that will address “shortfalls, unwanted impacts and consequences revealed during congressional review of the agreement.” Notably, Blumenthal wants legislation to “provide for effective ‘snap-back’ policies regarding sanctions.” The “snap-back” policies are the key enforcement mechanism in the deal.

Sen. Gary Peters (D – Mich.) objected to America’s departure from its longstanding demand of not allowing Iran to enrich uranium.

My core concern with this agreement lies with the basic issue that has always been before us — the enrichment of uranium by Iran. This deal allows Iran, under the same leadership that refers to the United States as the Great Satan and calls for the destruction of Israel, to enrich uranium on its own soil. This core concession is in many ways a stark departure from our country’s past non-proliferation policies, and it concerns me that this agreement could set a dangerous precedent as developing nations around the world look to nuclear power to meet their growing domestic demands for energy and electricity… How can the United States say with moral authority that this deal is acceptable for Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism intent on regional hegemony, but deny it to others?… I am concerned that other nations will view this agreement with Iran as a change in U.S. policy and new precedent that may lead to increased global proliferation of nuclear enrichment and the potential for other nuclear threshold states to emerge.

Peters observed that this would lead to Iran becoming “a legitimized threshold nuclear state” in 15 years. Bard also noted Peters’ concern about Iran’s support of terrorism, which “will further destabilize an already fragile region” after an infusion of billions of dollars from the deal.

Sen. Chris Coons (D – Del.), like Peters, expressed his concern about Iran being allowed to develop an industrial nuclear program, which would be very difficult to contain if Iran cheats:

Even if the Iranians comply with the letter and spirit of the agreement as negotiators for the United States understand it, a stronger, financially stable, and economically interconnected Iran will develop an expanded nuclear enrichment program after a decade which — if it then chooses to violate the agreement — would allow it to quickly develop enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon. This agreement — at best — freezes Iran’s nuclear enrichment program — it does not dismantle or destroy it as I hoped it would.



An Israeli study has found that resistance training, and not only aerobic exercise, helps reduce liver fat as well as cholesterol. Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance. “For patients suffering from physical limitations or low motivation that prevents them from performing aerobic exercises, resistance training can be an effective alternative,” said lead researcher Dr. Shira Zelber-Sagi from the School of Public Health at the University of Haifa. Excessive weight, abdominal obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and in particular triglycerides, increase the risk of developing fatty liver disease, when fat accounts for at least 5-10% of liver volume. Dr. Oren Shibolet, director of Tel Aviv Medical Center’s Liver Unit, adds, “Because drug treatment for the disease is very limited or nonexistent, the main emphasis is on lifestyle modifications. In this aspect our study is one of a few clinical trials to show the benefit of resistance training in reducing liver fat.” The study led by Zelber-Sagi, Shibolet and nutritionist-physical instructor Assaf Buch examined the impact of resistance training – which is usually briefer and more focused than aerobic exercises – on fatty liver disease. (via Israel21c)


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