Daily Kickoff: Iran to inspect its own nuke sites? | 26 Jewish leaders endorse Iran deal in NYT ad | URJ remains neutral | Hizzoner David Stern?

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TOP TALKER: “AP Exclusive: U.N. To Let Iran Inspect Alleged Nuke Work Site” by George Jahn: “Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press. The agreement in question diverges from normal procedures by allowing Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence of activities it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons. Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010, said he could think of no similar concession with any other country.” [AP]

“IAEA says access to Iran’s Parchin military site meets demands” by Shadia Nasralla: “Asked if Iran would be allowed to conduct inspections itself to address concerns about Parchin, the IAEA said it was legally bound to keep its arrangements with Tehran confidential.” [Reuters]

REACTIONS — White House: “As the administration has said before… we are confident in the Agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program, issues that in some cases date back more than a decade. When it comes to monitoring Iran’s behavior going forward, the IAEA has separately developed the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated to ensure Iran’s current program remains exclusively peaceful, the overarching objective of the JCPOA. Beyond that, we are not going to comment on a purported draft IAEA document.”

Ed Royce: “International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period. The standard of ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections – so critical to a viable agreement – has dropped to ‘when Iran wants, where Iran wants, on Iran’s terms.’” [Statement]

Bob Corker: “This type of unorthodox agreement has never been done before by the IAEA and speaks to the great lengths our negotiators took to accommodate the Ayatollah despite repeated assurances from the administration that this deal is not based on trust.” [Statement]

Nancy Pelosi: “Pelosi shrugged off the revelation, noting it relates to an agreement over past nuclear development. She emphasized her support for the overall deal negotiated between the U.S., five other leading nations and Iran, which would require Iran to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. “I truly believe in this agreement,” she said.” [Yahoo/AP]

Yuval Steinitz: “One must welcome this global innovation and outside-the-box thinking,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, tasked by Netanyahu to speak out on the Iranian nuclear issue, said in a sarcastic reference to the report that the IAEA would not directly inspect the Parchin site. “One can only wonder if the Iranian inspectors will also have to wait 24 days before being able to visit the site and look for incriminating evidence?” he said, referring to a clause in the deal on the notice period for intrusive IAEA inspections. [Reuters]

“The real reason a controversial secret side deal involving Iran is so important” by Armin Rosen: “Here’s the problem for the Iran deal moving forward: The AP’s Parchin report is based on one of two documents related to the implementation of the IAEA roadmap… the IAEA was “using Iranian language” in framing how these disclosure issues would be settled in the roadmap. Certainly the document pertaining to Parchin suggests that the roadmap is on somewhat favorable terms for the Iranians. But what about the second side-agreement — the one that might govern who IAEA inspectors can talk to and what facilities they can visit as part of their roadmap investigation?” [BusinessInsider]

“U.S. picks ambassador to oversee Iran deal” by Nahal Toosi: Stephen Mull, the outgoing envoy to Poland, has been chosen to spearhead U.S. implementation of the nuclear agreement. Just don’t call him a ‘czar.’ [Politico

“Iran Deal Is Shaping the Iraq War” by Noah Feldman: “The U.S. would like to defeat Islamic State, and we assume Iran would, too. The big change, however, is that the U.S. may no longer be as committed to a multi-denominational, unified Iraq as a buffer against Iran. That’s the result of a regional change – brought about by the nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran.” [BloombergView]

VOTES: “Congress unlikely to override an Obama veto in Iran nuclear fight — for now” by Karoun Demirjian: “In the House, rivals of the deal would need 44 of the remaining undecided Democrats to break with Obama, while in the Senate, 11 of 12 Democrats who are still undecided or haven’t tipped their hands would have to defy Obama to overturn the deal.” [PowerPost]

“Iran Deal Backers Turn To Former Israel Security Agent To Help Convince Dems” by Jessica Schulberg and Sam Stein: “Ami Ayalon, the one-time head of Israel’s Shin Bet, is a known supporter of the deal, which would exchange sanctions relief for curbs to Iran’s nuclear program. Recently, he’s stepped up his advocacy, meeting and calling members of Congress in hopes of delivering the voting margins President Barack Obama needs to see the deal through.” [HuffPost]

Ad in NYTimes Today: ““When it comes to Iran’s nuclear capability, this [deal] is the best option.” –Admiral (ret.) Ami Ayalon. We agree with Admiral Ayalon and leading Israeli military, scientific and intelligence experts who share this view. We remain deeply concerned that Iran is unflinchingly anti-Semitic and an unapologetic state-sponsor of terrorism. However, a nuclear-armed Iran would be even more dangerous. While not perfect, this deal is the best available option to halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program.” [Ad]

–Signees include: S. Daniel Abraham, Michael Adler, Robert Arnow, Thomas Dine, Stanley Gold, E. Robert Goodkind, Alan Jaffe, Marvin Lender, Carl Levin, Jacqueline Levine, Mel Levine, Rabbi Brian Lurie, Lynn Lyss, Theodore Mann, Alfred Moses, Nancy Ratzan, Seymour Reich, Robert Rifkind, Greg Rosenbaum, Rabbi Ismar Schorsch, Alan Solomont, Alan Solow, Marc Stanley, Robert Wexler, Rabbi Eric Yoffie, and Larry Zicklin.

“Reform Jewish Movement Response to Iran Deal: Address Important Concerns, Focus on the Day After: The Reform Movement is large and diverse. Within the Movement, reasonable people — patriotic Americans and passionate Zionists — have expressed different and valid positions on this agreement, articulating the many arguments made by others as well. Our focus must be on two questions: First, how is it possible to address our concerns about the JCPOA? Second, if the agreement is finalized, what happens the day after? Specifically, how can we work to support the strongest possible U.S.-Israel relationship going forward? At this time, there is no unity of opinion among the Reform Movement leadership… Thus, there is simply no clarity that would support taking a position “for” or “against” the JCPOA itself.” [FullStatement]

Noam Neusner emails… “URJ’s decision not to oppose the Iran deal suggested that the focus should be on the “day after” — those of us old enough to remember that term is loaded because of the 1983 mega-made-for-TV-film of the same name, about the day after a nuclear attack on the U.S. Doesn’t help the URJ that they came out the same day as the AP scoop on Iran being on the honor system on inspections. All in all, pretty badly handled.” • We reached out to URJ leadership to respond to Noam’s critique. No response yet.

J.B. Pritzker Op: “True bipartisanship – oppose the deal” [TheHill] • Byline bio: “Pritzker is co-founder and managing partner of Pritzker Group, a Chicago-based private investment firm, and served as national co-chair of Hillary Clinton for President in 2008. He is also the brother of Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.”

2016 WATCH: “Hillary: Own the Iran deal” by Rob Eshman: “She should say that, on day one of her presidency, she will take all necessary actions to make the deal’s provisions stronger, its enforcement more likely and Israel more secure. That she will commit every resource to holding Iran to its end of the deal. That she will stand resolutely by voices of moderation and democracy in Iran. That she will hold Iran’s leaders accountable for every dollar of Iran’s sanctions bonanza that is used for terror, anywhere on the globe.” [JewishJournal]

“Straight Outta Brooklyn, by Way of Vermont: The Bernie Sanders Story” by Jas Chana:“Tracing the Jewish roots of the presidential hopeful, from Burlington to the kibbutz and back” [TabletMag]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “How American Eagle Outfitters got its groove back” by Tim Schooley:“The executive team of American Eagle Outfitters sought Wednesday to eliminate any doubt or notion the fashion retailer was still mired in the slump of a few years ago and were able to report results that backed it up. “When I took the helm in early 2014, I knew we had the potential for a quick recovery,” Jay Schottenstein, the company’s chairman and interim CEO, told analysts. Schottenstein was able to tout.. record sales and four straight quarters of year-over-year earnings growth in what he characterized as a tough retail environment.” [PittsburghBusinessTimes]

“Why some of Hollywood’s biggest stars might not get paid” by Richard Morgan: “Billionaire hedge-fund mogul Paul Singer isn’t making any friends in Hollywood. Singer’s Manchester Securities, a major creditor of bankrupt Relativity Media, asked a judge on Wednesday to block roughly $28 million in residual payments likely owed some of Tinseltown’s biggest stars because the studio hasn’t proven the “payments are truly necessary.”” [NYPost]

“Manhattan’s Property Boom Pushes Landlords to Sell Early” by Sarah Mulholland: “Take Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities LLC, which acquired two pre-war buildings in midtown Manhattan in 2011 and demolished them with plans to build a 71-story tower. The company agreed to sell the vacant parcel at 520 Fifth Ave. for about double the $150 million acquisition price, without even starting a new foundation.” [BloombergNYBJ]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Ex-NBA commish David Stern is being urged to run for NYC Mayor” by Richard Johnson: “Friends of former NBA Commissioner David Stern are urging him to run for mayor in 2017, now that Mayor de Blasio is looking less likely to be re-elected to a second term. Stern, a lifelong Democrat who has regularly contributed to the party, will be retired for two years in February. “He’s pretty bored,” said one source. “He’s always been interested in politics, and he’s always been interested in running for office.”” [PageSixDeadspin]

STARTUP NATION: “This Israeli startup is developing an electric car battery that can charge in minutes” by Katie Fehrenbacher: “Tesla’s fast chargers can add about 170 miles worth of electricity to its cars’ batteries in about 30 minutes. If an Israeli startup achieves its goal, electric cars could travel hundreds of miles after only five minutes of charging. On Wednesday three-year-old startup StoreDot, said that it’s raised $18 million in funding from the investing arm of Korean electronics giant Samsung and Russian investor Roman Abramovich.” [FortuneWire]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Keeping Myanmar’s only synagogue open: Most people in Myanmar are Buddhist; many are Muslim. But there are just eight Jewish families and Sammy Samuels is their leader. The thirty four-year-old tells Jo Fidgen what it’s like to lead only 20 people.” [BBC]

“First Haredi Woman Accepted into El Al Pilot Course” by Ido Ben Porat: “A haredi woman has for the first time been accepted into El Al’s elite pilot training course, which will begin in three months, Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday. Nehama (full name withheld), in her 30s, lives in a haredi community in Jerusalem and is married with three children. She is a graduate of a Beit Yaakov school and at age 20, she began learning to fly in the United States. With her American pilot license, Nehama tried, unsuccessfully, for several years to be accepted into El Al’s program.” [INN]

“Spanish Music Festival Re-Invites Jewish Rapper Matisyahu: Following a barrage of criticism, organizers of an international reggae festival in Spain backtracked Wednesday and apologized for cancelling a concert by Jewish-American singer Matisyahu because he had declined to state his position regarding a Palestinian state.” [TimeMag] • WSJ Editorial: “That Anti-Israel Reggae Beat: Remember the reggae star Matisyahu the next time anti-Israel proponents insist their aim is to promote Palestinian rights, not anti-Jewish bigotry.” [WSJ]

SPORTS BLINK: “USA Pro Challenge includes first Israeli team to race in U.S.” by Jason Blevins: “Last spring, riders with Israel’s Team Cycling Academy traveled to Poland to race the six-stage Carpathian Couriers Race, one of the highest-profile contests for the youthful team that formed late last year. The team’s mostly under-23 riders — from Israel, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and the Czech Republic — were lined up for the first-stage in Tarnow, Poland. More than 70 years ago, German Nazis were mass- murdering Jews in Tarnow, eventually killing 25,000 and wiping out half the city’s population… Team Cycling Academy this week became the first Israeli cycling team to race in the U.S.” [DenverPost]

DESSERT: “9 Inconvenient Truths About Jewish Food (That Nobody Wants To Talk About)” [FirstWeFeast]

Taboon, San Francisco’s First Kosher Bakery, Plans Debut At Sixth & Minna Streets: “The Sixth Street corridor will soon have one less vacant storefront, as three friends from Israel plan to open Taboon, a kosher bakery combining Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors in the form of savory pastries and authentic breads. While San Francisco has no shortage of bakeries slinging sweets and sandwiches, Taboon will be the city’s first kosher bakery, said Isaac Yosef, a partner in the new venture.” [HoodlineTaboon]

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