Opponents Seek To Nuke Iran Deal

Nov 25, 2013 8:58am

By MICHAEL FALCONE (@michaelpfalcone)

NOTABLES

  • JOHN KERRY — ‘NO DAYLIGHT’ BETWEEN ISRAEL, U.S. ON GOAL FOR IRAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM: Following a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program this weekend in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to temper concerns expressed by Israel over the agreement, saying in an interview on “This Week” that there was no daylight between the U.S. and its closest Middle East ally when it came to their goals for Iran’s controversial nuclear program, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS reports. “Israel and the United States absolutely share the same goal here. There is no daylight between us, with respect to what we want to achieve at this point,” Kerry told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS. “We both want to make it certain Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. And Iran cannot be in a place where they can breakout and suddenly get that nuclear weapon.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly stated his belief that the Iranian regime poses a threat to the very existence of the Jewish state, called the deal a “historic mistake.” http://abcn.ws/1iGNzm7
  • THE DEAL: An alliance of countries, coined the P5+1 referring to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, announced an initial deal with Iran early Sunday morning at the United Nations building in Geneva. The deal would give Iran temporary, limited relief of sanctions in exchange for the end of any uranium enrichment above 5 percent, the dilution of the most highly enriched uranium in the country, and increased inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
  • DIPLOMACY ON THE HILL: Republican members of Congress were quick to criticize the deal with several releasing statements saying it does not go far enough towards dismantling Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and CHRIS GOOD note. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on “This Week” he believed the deal would not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. “They’re going to destroy uranium enriched to 20 percent, but irrespective of what [Kerry] just said, they’re going to be able to continue to enrich uranium to 3.5 percent,” Chambliss said. “They’ve got six tons now. They’re going to allow them to go to seven tons, and then they’ll come back down to six tons within the next six months, but they’ll still have that capability.” Congress is gone for Thanksgiving recess, but after talks with Iran heated up last time in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry remained in touch with a handful of his former Senate colleagues by phone. Now that a deal has been reached, we’ll be watching to see whether Kerry’s lobbying effort continues even as Congress is out of session. http://abcn.ws/1iGNzm7

 

THE ROUNDTABLE

ABC’s JEFF ZELENY: The United States may have signed a preliminary nuclear accord with Iran, but that doesn’t mean Congress is going to happily follow along. The criticism from Capitol Hill was swift and extraordinary, with some Democrats and nearly all Republicans voicing deep skepticism with the deal. The Senate has kept its powder dry for months over the talk of new Iran sanctions, but not anymore. Even several top Democrats say the Senate should press for new sanctions. The White House has been able to keep Congress at bay during the negotiations in Geneva, but those days appear to be over. Look for a heated debate after Thanksgiving. While it may seem to be a welcome change from health care, it’s an uncomfortable position for the White House to be so at odds with Democratic allies over such significant foreign policy. And it’s the first international test for President Obama, whose credibility and trust has been weakened on the domestic front.

ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Foreign policy is the administration’s business alone, until it isn’t. In the nuclear deal with Iran, you can measure the lack of trust on Capitol Hill by the length of the leash members of Congress are giving the Obama White House. This will be an added element in an agreement fraught with peril and pitfalls: Congress – led by top Democrats as well as Republicans – will be looking for any reason to pull the plug, or at least the rug. The fierce reaction in Congress is the result of decades’ of experience with the Iranians. It’s also a consequence of a lack of trust for President Obama, on Capitol Hill and in Israel. Those cheering scenes in Iran won’t help buy patience, and the president will need to be tending to the home front even as the hard work abroad begins.

 

WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHEF DISHES SECRETS FROM THE KITCHEN AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVE. Chef John Moeller has built his career on cooking food fit for presidents. Moeller worked as a White House chef for three presidents – George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush – and has now published a book, “Dining at the White House,” that weaves together his stories of working for the first families with the recipes of some of his standout White House dishes. Cooking chocolate tortes during an interview with “Politics Confidential’s” JONATHAN KARL. Moeller recalled arriving at the White House for his first day on the job under President George H.W. Bush. “I had a big tool box loaded up there, and when I came in the guys opened it up — I didn’t have my chef uniform on — and they go ‘wow, lots of knives here,’ the Secret Service guys,” Moeller said. “And they go, ‘Oh, we knew you were coming.’” Moeller worked in the first Bush White House for only a matter of months, but during that time, he said he developed a strong rapport with the president and that it was hard to say goodbye as they prepared to welcome the Clintons as the next first family. http://yhoo.it/1hd5TE7

 

BUZZ

OBAMA CONTINUES WEST COAST FUNDRAISING SWING. President Obama wakes up in Seattle on the second day of his three-day west coast trip, ABC’s MARY BRUCE notes. This morning, he travels to San Francisco, where he delivers remarks on immigration reform at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center. Later in the afternoon, he attends a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the San Francisco Jazz Center, before flying to Los Angeles to attend two more fundraisers.

WHO HAS THE BUSIEST THANKSGIVING WEEK IN WASHINGTON? There’s no deadline quite like the self-imposed variety, notes ABC’s RICK KLEIN. The Obama administration has deflected all manner of criticism about the broken HealthCare.gov website by assuring the public that all would be operational by Nov. 30 – this Saturday. That means a busy Thanksgiving week for the team of fix-it folks who’ve been finding new problems with the website even while taking care of the ones that popped up early in the flawed rollout. Blowing past this deadline without a functioning portal would open up Democratic floodgates, and could make pressure to change enrollment-enforcement dates too much to withstand. This comes after the administration moved a different deadline that’s almost a year away; 2015 plans won’t be available on the Obamacare marketplace until next Nov. 15 – after the midterm congressional elections.

MARK ZUCKERBERG: IMMIGRATION REFORM ONE OF THE ‘BIGGEST CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES OF OUR TIME’. During an exclusive interview with “This Week,” Facebook CEO and FWD.us founder Mark Zuckerberg criticized the current U.S. immigration system and framed comprehensive reform as a major civil rights issue, ABC’s BEN BELL notes. “When you meet these children who are really talented, and they’ve grown up in America and they really don’t know any other country besides that, but they don’t have the opportunities that … we all enjoy, it’s really heartbreaking – right? That seems like it’s one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time,” Zuckerberg said. Zuckerberg, speaking to ABC’s DAVID WRIGHT from Mountain View, Calif., pushed back against those who argue the millions of undocumented immigrants estimated to be in the United States are here illegally and have no right to citizenship. “There are a lot of misconceptions about that … a lot of them came here because they just want to work. They want to help out their families and they want to contribute,” he said. The 29-year-old billionaire – who co-founded the immigration reform advocacy group FWD.us this spring – outlined the economic importance of reform. “The future of our economy is a knowledge economy. And that means that getting the most talented people into this country is the most important thing that we can do to make sure that the companies of tomorrow are founded here,” Zuckerberg said. http://abcn.ws/1bMD22d

ANALYZING THE IRAN DEAL: Martha Raddatz, Christiane Amanpour, Bill Kristol, and Richard Haass break down the Iran nuclear deal. WATCH: http://abcn.ws/1bMVh7v

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

MAYA ANGELOU REFLECTS ON HER MOTHER AND THE MEANING OF FORGIVENESS. Maya Angelou was moved to tears while reading a passage of her new autobiography “Mom & Me & Mom,” in an interview for “This Week.” “There has never been anyone greater than you as the mother of a young adult. She squeezed my hand twice,” Angelou read aloud to ABC’s SUSAN SAULNY. Angelou was overcome with emotion, sharing stories and memories of her mother, who is the inspiration for her new book. “I can’t read anymore … I can’t. She’s still very much with me,” Angelou said. “I have a photograph of her in my bathroom on the mirror, so each morning when I go in there to brush my teeth I see her, smiling and looking at me, and approving of me.” Though Angelou has written several autobiographical books, this is the first time that she reveals the triumphs and struggles of her relationship with her mother. “She was so beautiful. My brother and I, we would watch her carefully, as if she was a butterfly,” Angelou said describing her mother. Angelou said her mother helped her to realize her potential to become something great. http://abcn.ws/17SiUQo

 

IN THE NOTE’S INBOX

DC LOBBYING FIRM STAFFS UP. The Bockorny Group, a Washington, DC-based lobbying firm, is announcing that Carolyn Mayle has joined the firm’s leadership as its newest principal. According to the announcement: “Mayle has been a government relations industry leader in Washington, D.C., for over 17 years, building a portfolio of legislative, policy, and political experience through positions in both major trade associations and Fortune 50 corporate Washington, D.C. government affairs offices. ‘Carolyn possesses the rare blend of both policy and political acumen,’ said the firm’s Chairman and CEO Dave Bockorny. ‘She has a deep understanding of health policy, and experience in the corporate world.’ Before joining the Bockorny Group, Mayle worked over five years as a senior lobbyist for WellPoint, one of the nation’s largest publicly-traded health companies, developing and executing federal legislative strategy in the policy areas of health insurance reform, delivery system reform, Medicare reform, health care fraud and abuse, and tax. Prior to WellPoint, Mayle worked for General Motors Corporation as Director of Congressional and Public Affairs handling all federal health care issues and leading numerous legislative campaigns.”

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@NKingofDC: Pew finds no clear ‘Pope Francis bump’ as the number of Americans identifying as Catholic stays flat: http://pewrsr.ch/18iTGLy 

@mattbeynon: Santorum Says He’d “Do It Differently” in 2016 | RealClearPolitics http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/11/25/santorum_says_hed_do_it_differently_in_2016_120758.html …

@ZekeJMiller: Find out what Kid President is thankful for this year #TIMEthanks http://ti.me/1iDPM1D  via @TIME

@PeterBeinart: To Bibi + friends, Obama is Neville Chamberlain. So was Reagan, Rabin, Clinton… http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/25/no-obama-s-iran-deal-was-not-a-munich-style-surrender.html …

@BenSherwoodABC: Happy Monday + @ABC bday to supremely gifted Dre Sandoval, Sarah Kolinovsky, @TVMarci, ABC Fellow alum @abbydphillip, and MVP Lynnore Thames

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