Pres. Obama, Sec. Kerry: Don’t forget American hostages held in Iran! Bring them home now as part of #nuketalks!

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L to R: Bob Levinson, held over 7 years as of March 2014, Pastor Saeed Abedini with his wife Naghmeh, and former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. All three are US citizens – and unjustly held in Iran today!


The Iran nuke talks ‘deadline’ of July 20 came and went. Talks were extended for 4 more months, yet no formal talks were held for nearly 2 months. Meanwhile Iran receives another $.7 Billion per month just to keep talks alive and ….


For the U.S. and its negotiators, it cannot be “business as usual.” By doing the same thing, we will keep getting the same result: NOTHING!  Ms. Wendy Sherman was the lead negotiator for the U.S. back in the 1990’s – appointed then by Bill Clinton’s State Department. Iran talked and talked yet agreed to nothing with now president Rouhani leading the negotiations back then. Talks broke off and Israeli and world security concerns regarding a nuclear Iran were never resolved. WE ARE IN THE SAME PLACE TODAY!

The U.S. Congress and Americans must insist that President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry accomplish the following BEFORE concluding ANY agreement with Iran on nuclear or any other issues (even an agreement to extend the talks again!):

1) All three Americans held now in Iran must be freed prior to a finalized nuclear agreement OR any further extension of the existing talks, if not concluded by the new November deadline. RIGHT NOW is the best time for the United States to use its leverage to gain the three men’s release.  U.S. leverage will decline considerably should the talks end or be extended again with no requirement of a goodwill gesture by Iran. Iran will be more likely to respond to American firmness and threats of negative consequences – not soft talk or perceived weakness.

2) Absolutely no additional billions of U.S. dollars in sanctions relief – NONE, ZERO – until appropriate goodwill gestures by Iran are made.  None has been required of Iran, other than to come and talk to us, yet Iran has received airplane and medical equipment from Boeing and GE as well as increased funds from oil exports. European and Asian banks and companies are eager to start new trade agreements that have already been negotiated.

3) If talks fail by November 2014, and/or no goodwill gesture is made to the U.S. such as the release of our three hostages, the U.S. must return to a tougher sanctions regime until there is appropriate action by Iran. If Iran decides they need access to their frozen assets badly enough, they can make an agreement with the U.S. in a matter of days or a few weeks. Giving Iran billions of U.S. dollars now only DELAYS an agreement with Iran and keeps our three hostages in prisons!

4) The free flow of Iranian oil beyond the monthly output level that was in the January 20 agreement needs to be called out and halted by the West. It has not been helpful that Russia, China, Europe and even U.S. companies have expressed their keen interest in Iran’s oil processing and trade business are have taken steps toward that end with the U.S.’s knowledge and in some cases approval.

If negotiations continue on the current ‘casual’ basis – i.e. no sense of urgency – not only will any remnants of U.S. leverage become weaker on Iranian nuclear issues, but on all issues, including release of the three American hostages.

5) Russia should be sanctioned by the other P5+1 nations for negotiating a side deal with Iran worth $1.5 billion dollars per month known as ‘oil for goods.’ This bartering system when implemented will allow Russia to build Iranian nuclear facilities and provide other Russian goods and services that Iran sorely needs.

6) Finally, the main goal of the initial six-month nuclear talks must be fully realized and verified on a continuing basis. That is, Iran must eliminate, not simply slow down, its capability of developing nuclear weapons. For sanctions to be further eased or eliminated altogether, Iran must agree to ongoing stringent UN/IAEA inspections and verification.  AND


________________________________ is deeply disappointed by the most recent nuclear talk delays. Iran continues the delay tactics used with the Clinton Administration in the 1990s with our same lead U.S. negotiator: Ms. Wendy Sherman. However, while Iran is enriching uranium, why is the U.S. still enriching Iran? We just agreed to another $2.8 billion dollars for Iran to talk to us for 4 more months?

Another question: why hasn’t Iran already been required to release the three American hostages? The U.S. has shown and continues to display good faith (some may say “naiveté”) while Iran’s negotiators smile for the cameras and give nothing?

About From January 1-July 4, 2014 there were 184 days  or 6 months and 4 days. Iran was given 6 months (180 days) to show good faith regarding their nuclear weapons programs. That hasn’t happened yet! Americans must insist that no more billions of U.S. dollars or other resources will be unfrozen or transferred to Iran as a result of future eased sanctions loosening. Neither should Iranian oil exports flow freely to other nations, including Russia that has negotiated a side deal worth $1.5 billion per month known as ‘oil for goods.’ With this bartering system, Russia can build Iran’s nuclear facilities in exchange for Iranian oil, thus bypassing the normal banking system. Russia could even re-sell the oil on the open market skirting controls on Iranian oil sales. And finally, the main purpose of the nuke talks, the cessation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, must be realized and continually verified.

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