🧵Jerusalem Post: Former Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo today “said it was a massive strategic error for Netanyahu to be in open conflict with the Obama and Biden administrations over Iran.” jpost.com/middle-east/ir… by @jeremybob1
Pardo “said that Netanyahu’s policy had helped push the Trump admin to leave the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which now has led to Tehran passing the 60% nuclear enrichment level.”
He accused Netanyahu of having “top notch tactics, but zero strategy.” jpost.com/middle-east/ir…
btw, re: Pardo, Sen. Tim Kaine recounted at SFRC hearing yesterday Netanyahu trying to cancel a congressional delegation briefing with Pardo, and then-SFRC chief Corker threatening to cancel all their other meetings in Israel if Netanyahu did not let it proceed. It did.
The second Iranian presidential debate that just finished was very boring, says @fresh_sadegh, at SAIS Rethinking Iran panel. She got sense the candidates were cautioned from somewhere to stick to the framework, few of them directly answered the questions asked of them.
Many people are indifferent to this election, @fresh_sadegh says. Polls suggest maybe 40% turnout. A lot of reasons, main one: people are disappointed, don’t expect any change from the candidates put on the table. Of 7 approved candidates, none of them really represent different
groups of people. Economic problems, add to problems that already exist in society people.
NYT: DOJ did not say which article was being investigated. But the lineup of reporters & timing suggests related to classified info reported in 4/22/2017 article about a doc obtained from Russia by hackers that influenced Comey decision to announce not charging HRC in email probe
“the April 2017 article mentioned a document obtained from Russia by hackers working for Dutch intelligence officials. The document, whose existence was classified, was said to have played a key role in Mr. Comey’s thinking about the Clinton case.”
“The issue for Tehran is not about reaching agreement, but who can take credit for it,” which affects the timing of potentially reaching a deal, @Azodiac83 “Conservatives want to be able to say, ‘we brought you prosperity.’” diplomatic.substack.com/p/iran-talks-b…
If one were to focus mostly on the Iranian statement tea leaves, one might expect a deal maybe later in June and some sort of implementation day in August. diplomatic.substack.com/p/iran-talks-b…
🧵Several new bits of info for me in this @shustry profile of Derkach. Among them,
Andriy Artemenko, who set up Giuliani’s Dec 2019 trip to Ukraine and apparently lives near DC, “is a longstanding business partner to Erik Prince.” time.com/6052302/andriy…
“Artemenko, a Kyiv-born citizen of Canada, had plenty of contacts to share. One of them was Derkach, who told me he has known Artemenko since at least since 2014.”
In months leading up to April FBI raid, “investigators questioned numerous witnesses about Giuliani’s work in Ukraine. Two of those witnesses told me the investigators were especially interested in his ties to Derkach. ‘They wanted everything – every meeting, every text,’
Ire across the political spectrum at the Guardian Council disqualifications of several Iranian presidential candidates, @amwajmedia reports: “an uncontested win by Raisi in the elections may discredit him and even damage his leadership ambitions.” amwaj.media/media-monitor/…
“This level of dissatisfaction among hardliners with the Guardian Council is unprecedented & indicates that pressure on the political establishment is growing. Hardliners are worried that an election in which there is no competition will lead to a low turnout that will be blamed
“on them and the wider establishment, and place the rival Reformist camp on the high ground.
The discontent in the wider social base from where the hardliners get their support could force Khamenei to issue a decree for the GC to approve Larijani & possibly also Jahangiri
🧵”The way they did their work was suspicious as hell," said one former State Dept official familiar with effort. "They basically conducted it in secret, cutting out the State Dept’s technical experts & the Intel Community, & then trying to brief certain senior officials
“the interagency on their 'tentative conclusions' even before they'd let the department leaders they worked for know an investigation was underway at all."
When scientists looked at the data,... in early Jan, the evidence... appeared inconclusive and misguided, two sources said.
“It smelled like they were just fishing to justify pre-determined conclusions & cut out experts who could critique their 'science,' " said the fmr official...”The reason..became clear when real scientists finally got a chance to see their analysis,” & the case fell apart.
“There was more progress towards reaching an understanding of what the contours of a deal would look like,” the diplomat said.
But he said reaching a deal is not inevitable. And the timing is also uncertain. Unclear if Iran elections will get in the way.
🧵Blinken call w UAE FM. From State readout: “The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed efforts to bring the current violence in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza to an end and halt the tragic loss of civilian life.”
Blinken call w EU High Rep Borrell: “to exchange views on how the United States and the EU can bring a halt to the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Blinken call w Jordan FM. State: “Both agreed on the urgency of working towards a sustainable calm.”
Nov. 9, the day Axios reports that McEntee summoned Macgregor to the WH & handed him a note instructing him Trump wanted him to find a way to withdraw troops from Syria/Iraq/Germany/Afghanistan/Africa, is the same day Esper was fired and Miller stuffed in. axios.com/off-the-rails-…
It really seems that there needs to be proper depositions, of Miller, mcentee, macgregor, patel, o’brien, etc. etc. etc. Is there a connection between Trump post-election machinations at DoD, the firing of Esper, and Jan. 6? axios.com/off-the-rails-…
So Miller evidently did not consider Macgregor his “senior advisor.” He seemed to regard him as something like a McEntee operative.
Blinken call with Qatar FM, State readout: “discussed efforts to restore calm in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza in light of the tragic loss of civilian life.”
Blinken call with French FM; State readout: “to discuss their shared concern about ongoing violence in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza and their engagement with partners in the region to bring about calm.”
Blinken call with Saudi FM @FaisalbinFarhan, State readout: “discussed the ongoing efforts to calm tensions in Israel & the West Bank & Gaza and bring the current violence to an end.”
🧵Signs US raising pressure on Israel govt about its concerns. Israel PM office read out Netanyahu call today w/Biden before US side does, & one senses, perhaps trying to spin it as reassuring him taking care to avoid civilian casualties, etc.
SecDef Austin called Israel DM
“One of the participants in the operation against Mr. McMaster, Barbara Ledeen, said she was brought on by someone ‘with access to McMaster’s calendar.’”
Does she still work for @ChuckGrassley/Senate Judiciary comm GOP?
“When confronted with details about her involvement in the McMaster operation, Ledeen insisted that she was merely a messenger...she passed the message to a man she believed to be a Project Veritas operative.” The plan was to try to honeytrap the then US national security advisor
piece further down reports that Ledeen retired from the Senate this year.
Rep. Khanna asks Miller if he wants to apologize to the American public and Miller says he stands by all of his decisions.
Khanna: did you or anyone in office try to get ahold of the president on jan. 6
Miller, eventually: not that I am aware of
Khanna now excorciating Miller for asking which 36 minutes delay in timeline he is referring to. I don’t find this helpful.
Just tell him which 36 minutes you mean, and save the time to let him answer
“We hope that we make enough progress so there will be no need for extension of that understanding, but if needed, we would consider at its proper time,” Iran Deputy FM Araghchi told NHK. diplomatic.substack.com/p/us-iran-sugg…
State spox Ned Price: US condemns in strongest terms barrage of rocket attacks fired into Israel in recent hours.
Unacceptable escalation. Recognize Israel legitimate right to defend itself. Critical for all sides to promote calm. Deeply concerned about situation...
US will remain fully engaged to promote calm in Jerusalem.
(not verbatim/missing words) Welcome steps govt of Israel taken in recent days to try to avoid provocations re Jerusalem Day parade
Price: State issued a statement on Friday, White House issued statement yesterday in connection with Sullivan call with his counterpart, we have been clear about where we stand on Sheikh Jarrah (possible evictions), to treat Palestinian residents with compassion.
48% approve of Biden's handling of gun policy, 49% disapprove
43% approve his handling of immigration, 54% disapprove
immigration only issue where disapproval substantially higher than approval, by 9 points.
The poll surveyed 1,842 people from April 29 to May 3, MoE 3.2%
His huge challenge coming in was to get control of the pandemic and the economy, and seems from these numbers that a large majority of the public is very satisfied with his handling of both. 71% approval on pandemic, including 47% of GOP is pretty striking.
🧵Snr State Dept official on call before new round of Vienna Iran talks: If Iran makes the political decision that it genuinely wants to return to JCPOA as negotiated, then it can be done rather swiftly. But we don’t know if Iran decided that, or if prepared to do so now.
It is a matter of a political decision that needs to be made in Iran.
SSDO: We think it is doable. Not rocket science. Not inventing a new deal. Reviving one undermined over last several years. Is it possible before Iran elections? If Iran makes the political determination…it can be done relatively quickly.