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Bobby Jindal criticizes Iran nuclear deal

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Washington, Louisiana’s Indian-American governor Bobby Jindal has joined other 2016 Republican presidential contenders in decrying the historic nuclear deal with Iran saying it doesn’t go far enough.

Bobby_Jindal_CPAC_2013_BJindal, who joined his rivals in an interview with PBS, gave three reasons for his opposition.

First, Iran will be allowed to hold onto “thousands of centrifuges,” which Jindal said will allow the country to maintain uranium enrichment capacity.

Second, Iranian leaders aren’t going to be required to sever ties with militant anti-Israel groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, he said.

Third, inspectors won’t be allowed free rein to inspect nuclear sites, even though Jindal said President Barack Obama “said we will get anywhere, anytime inspections.”

“I worry under this president’s deal we could end up with a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” Jindal said.

Jindal hoped that Democratic presidential front runner Hillary “Clinton, who’s been the architect of this president’s foreign policy will come out and oppose this deal and say it is time for America to stand with Israel.”

“There is still time for America to come out and say we will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power.”

Jindal went on to say that if he is elected president, he would impose tougher sanctions on Iran.

Asked about his insistence on people to stop using “hyphenated” terms such as Indian-Americans, Jindal returned to familiar rhetoric about how he thinks immigrants should embrace US values and learn English.

“The great thing about America is, we’re a wonderful melting pot,” he said. “Folks can be proud of their heritage. But I think the hyphenations, the divisions are keeping us apart,” he said.

“I think its common sense to say, if you want to come here, you should want to be an American. Otherwise, why are you coming here?

“We can still embrace our Italian heritage or our old country heritages, but we should be Americans. Stop the hyphenated Americans,” Jindal said.

Meanwhile, according to a report in the Washington Examiner, Jindal raised nearly $579,000 in his first week as a presidential candidate, but has another $8.6 million in his corner thanks to supportive outside groups.

Believe again, the super PAC supporting Jindal’s presidential bid, raised $3.7 million since launching in January. An additional almost $4 million was raised by America Next, a nonprofit backing Jindal, with another $1 million flowing to American Future Project.

Jindal, 44, is lagging in the polls, registering at 1.4 percent nationally among Republican primary voters, according to the RealClearPolitics average, placing him far out of contention to qualify for the first televised debate, set for Aug 6 in Cleveland.

(IANS)

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Iran Doubts Europe’s Efforts To Keep Nuclear Deal Alive

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence’s hard-hitting speech at Munich has triggered fears in Europe that Washington has bigger plans, says Florence Gaub of the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Feb. 17, 2019. VOA

Iran says Europe’s efforts to keep the 2015 nuclear deal are failing and there is growing support among the Iranian people to restart the country’s atomic program.

“We appreciate that Europe has done a great deal politically. But it hasn’t been prepared to make an investment. It hasn’t been prepared to pay a price,” Zarif told delegates at the Munich Security Conference Sunday.

He accused the United States and Israel of seeking war with his country.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence earlier accused Europe of helping to prop up a ‘murderous’ regime in Tehran.

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Not at all a call for ‘let’s renegotiate the deal’ but rather ‘let’s remove the regime in Tehran.’ And in that sense I think this was not interpreted as anything that Europe could accept. Pixabay

“They have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions. They call this scheme a Special Purpose Vehicle, we call it an effort to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime,” Pence told delegates Saturday.

That Special Purpose Vehicle — officially known as INSTEX — is a payments system designed to allow European companies to trade with Iran and bypass U.S. sanctions, explains sanctions lawyer Nigel Kushner of London-based firm “W Legal.”

“The aim is that it will get around the U.S. secondary sanctions by not involving U.S. dollars, not involving U.S. persons, and certainly at the moment only being involved in the procurement of trade which does not include products or services that are sanctioned by the U.S. authorities,” he said.

Europe is hoping that Iran will show patience, adds Kushner.

“I think on the Iranian side, they will play a waiting game and very much hope that next year Donald Trump might not be re-elected,” he said.

But Tehran says Europe’s offer is not good enough.

“INSTEX falls short of the commitments by the E3 [European three] to save the deal. Europe needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangerous tide of U.S. unilateralism,” Foreign Minister Zarif said Sunday at the Munich conference.

Meanwhile, Vice President Pence’s hard-hitting speech at Munich has triggered fears in Europe that Washington has bigger plans, says Florence Gaub of the European Union Institute for Security Studies.

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“Not at all a call for ‘let’s renegotiate the deal’ but rather ‘let’s remove the regime in Tehran.’ And in that sense I think this was not interpreted as anything that Europe could accept,” she said.

Washington, which withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year, has not explicitly called for regime change in Iran. (VOA)