AUGUST  2015  2.0

Please read COAL's recognition of Sen. Dick Durbin's strong support for diplomacy over military action, the Iran Nuclear Deal.

COAL reminder: Please support the National Black Business Month of August and the Black Economics Matter Initiative. We encourage all to Buy Black everyday from August 1, 2015 through August 31, 2015 (as well as beyond August). 


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COAL Commends Sen. Durbin's
Support of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

CHICAGO, Illinois August 10, 2015 -
The Coalition of African American Leaders (COAL) strongly commends the senior senator from Illinois, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, for his full-throated support of the recently completed Iran Nuclear Deal, negotiated over two years, between the U.S. (by President 
Obama's team), along with the four other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council 
(Britain, France, China, Russia) plus 
Germany - 
the P5 + 1 - and Iran, to stop Iran's march towards the development of a nuclear weapon.

Congress passed legislation this past April, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which stipulated that any deal with Iran had to be approved by vote of Congress after a review period of sixty days from the date of the final agreement. Many believe that this was done by Republicans (with the support of some Democrats) as a means of blocking an historic foreign policy victory for the President, to support the Republicans more hawkish middle east policies, as well as to demonstrate support for Israel which denounced the deal prior to actually knowing the details of the agreement.
Congress is currently in this review period. Based on an honest assessment of what is happening, beyond the expected political-speak - Republicans appear to have approached this from a strongly partisan position (i.e. they were against the deal as it was being negotiated), while democrats have taken the stance that they must review the deal in detail to determine where they stand  and how they will vote.
Senator Durbin was the first high-ranking member of the Senate stepping out in support of the agreement and has emerged as the chief organizer, White House liaison and public champion for this diplomatic solution to stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons. According to reporting by Sam Stein, "[Durbin] has organized briefings, taken his case to the airwaves and meticulously encouraged the fence-sitting senators. The administration considers him its most valuable ally in the upper chamber on the deal, while colleagues describe his work as tireless and deft".
COAL has been particularly impressed with Senator Durbin's clear articulation of why he supports the deal as he has made the rounds of morning and weekend political talk shows, countering the usual talking points used by the opposition, including the prime minister of Israel (who has inserted himself into American foreign policy and politics in, what can only be described as, historically partisan and unprecedented ways).
Some analysts feel that the Senate may not be needed to keep this signature foreign policy achievement of the President alive. If Congress passes legislation to reject the deal, the president will veto it. At that point, two-thirds of each chamber will have to override the veto, and it is widely expected that the votes won't be there in the House (since Nancy Pelosi has proven herself extremely capable of keeping her caucus focused when it comes to serious legislation and the President's signature policies and programs).
That being said, Sen. Dick Durbin is doing his part in strongly supporting the President and the coalition of world leaders giving this diplomatic solution a chance to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, versus the alternative (Gen Martin E Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee that although the nuclear deal with Iran will not prevent all dangers, it is still the best way to relieve risk of military conflict between US and Iran) which is war.
COAL strongly commends Senator Dick Durbin for taking this stance and following this with substantive action.


CHICAGO, Illinois August 10, 2015 -

Speaking of senators, New York Senator Chuck Schumer is one of the most powerful members of the U.S. Senate. All pundits were closely following his deliberations over whether he would or would not support this historic deal to curb the possibility of Iran getting a nuclear weapon. Schumer relayed to all that he would read the deal in detail and make his call based on the merits of the deal.

But alas, it was not to be.

Clearly being pressured by his allegiance to Israel and the American Israel Public Affairs  Committee (AIPAC), Sen. Chuck Schumer came out against the deal.

Why do we feel that Schumer bowed to the pressure you might ask.... Because the reasons he cited were the same 'tired' talking points used by the usual suspects in opposition. Two examples follow.

1) He stated that the US should go for a better deal - there is general consensus that once negotiations were completed between the P5+1 and Iran, that there is no better deal to be negotiated. There is no process by which to get this coalition back to the table if the US reneges on what it has already agreed to. You may not like the deal, however, to say that there is a better deal out there is not close to being realistic.

2) Schumer repeats the claim that "inspections are not 'anywhere, anytime'; the 24-day delay before we can inspect is troubling." - As Jeffrey Lewis points out in his article, Chuck Schumer's Disingenuous Iran Deal Argument, This would be very troubling if it were true. It isn't. The claim that inspections occur with a 24-day delay is the equivalent of Obamacare "death panels." Let's get this straight. The agreement calls for continuous monitoring at all of Iran's declared sites - that means all of the time - including centrifuge workshops, which are not safeguarded anywhere else in the world. Inspectors have immediate access to these sites. That leaves the problem of possible undeclared sites. What happens when the International Atomic Energy Agency suspects that prohibited work is occurring at an undeclared site? Read the article here.

Although Schumer's opposition is not a surprise, it is from a senator who would be leader of the Senate's Democratic Caucus once Sen. Harry Reid steps down upon his retirement next year.

The question is whether senate democrats can afford the next leader to be one that lacks the courage to take a stand that is in the Country's best interest ahead of other associations. 

COAL wonders if Obamacare would be the law of the land, if Schumer had been in the leadership position.... 

Just sayin'.

The next  
Power Breakfast
is  scheduled for
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Begins 8:30am / Program 9:30am
The Obama Presidential Library Project
BJ's Market - 8734 S. Stony Island Ave, Chicago - 773.374.4700
What We Believe 

The Coalition of African American Leaders believes that it is important to examine the critical issues confronting the African American community where injustice, inequality and the absence of access and opportunity continue to prevail, thereby negatively impacting us as a people. COAL is an assemblage that advocates and organizes for appropriate and responsible public policy change, system behavior change and equality of opportunity. We aim to achieve for all of our people the fullness of the life experience without any form of racism or exclusion as a deterrent. We believe we must prepare ourselves for the opportunity of this full participation, thereby achieving the necessary education and training to participate. 

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August 10, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal

Key Points contained within the Agreement: 

Uranium Enrichment
Iran will be permitted to operate up to 5,060 first generation centrifuges, configured to enrich uranium to 3.67 per cent - well below the level of enrichment required to make an atomic weapon.


Plutonium Production
Iran has agreed to reconfigure its heavy water reactor at Arak. In its existing form, the IR-40 reactor, which had been due to come online in 2014, would have produced significant quantities of plutonium as a byproduct of power generation. Although Iran does not have the plutonium enrichment facilities to turn such material into a bomb, dealing with the issue was one of the top priorities for P5+1 negotiators because of the sheer quantity of plutonium Arak could have produced in a short period of time.

The complete supply chain of Iran's nuclear complex will be subject to inspection by international monitors. This covers a spectrum ranging from facilities that enrich uranium to the uranium mines, the plants that produce centrifuge machinery and its storage facilities.
Iran has agreed to implement and ratify the Additional Protocol of the IAEA, which grants inspectors access to declared and undeclared sites. Some elements of the inspection regime will last for a quarter of a century. Inspectors will have access to Natanz and its research facilities for 15 years, the IAEA will be able to verify centrifuge production for 20 years, and production of uranium ore concentrate - so-called yellowcake - for 25 years. There will be 130-150 inspectors working in Iran within the year.

One of the biggest sticking points in the negotiation was access to facilities, scientists and documents related to military applications of nuclear research. 

Military or other undeclared sites can be inspected under the compromise. But such requests are subject to conditions and follow a complex request and approval process. If concerns have not been resolved within two weeks of an IAEA request to visit a suspect site, the matter will be taken to the joint commission. This body has a week to attempt to find a solution or vote to require an inspection. Iran will then have three days to comply. In total the process can take 24 days.

Possible Military Dimensions
Although senior diplomats agree that Iran has complied with a 2013 interim deal, it has been stalling an IAEA investigation into the possible military dimensions (PMD) of its past nuclear activities.

Iran has committed to fully resolving outstanding issues over the PMD by December. The issue of PMDs has long been one of the most sensitive for Iran: the country is reluctant to allow foreign inspectors access to its sensitive sites, particularly after a long history of assassinations and sabotage. More broadly, coming clean on its past research could also involve the admission that it has explored militarizing its nuclear program, even though it has always staunchly denied doing so.

Under the agreement, inspectors from the IAEA will now follow a "road map" towards producing a full and comprehensive report on all outstanding PMDs by December this year.

Sanctions Relief
Tehran wanted immediate removal of the economic and financial curbs that have throttled its economy. Under the deal, all EU and US energy, economic and financial sanctions, and most UN sanctions, will be lifted on "implementation day" - the day Iran shows it has complied with specific obligations to reduce centrifuge numbers and uranium stockpiles and address concerns about the potential military dimensions of its nuclear programme.
This is expected to take at least six to nine months, meaning the huge economic boost brought by sanctions relief would start in the first half of 2016. At that point more than $100bn in Iranian assets overseas would immediately be unfrozen and Iran's oil exports would rapidly increase.
The EU and US will maintain proliferation-related technology trade curbs for eight years, or until the International Atomic Energy Agency concludes that nuclear material in Iran remains in peaceful use. After 10 years, the remaining UN curbs on sensitive nuclear related items are scheduled to be removed in full.
Weapons Embargo
A big point of tension in the talks was the longevity of curbs on arms sales. Under the compromise, UN curbs on access to ballistic technologies will last for a maximum of eight years and the arms embargo against Iran will be lifted within five years.

Snapback Provision
The so-called snapback mechanism is designed to allay fears that Iran might cease to stick to its part of the deal once sanctions are lifted. Under snapback, punitive sanctions are automatically reintroduced if Iran fails to comply with the deal. Snapback, however, comes with a delay which can stretch to 65 days under the deal. The mechanism will stay in place for at least 10 years.

Source: Financial Times; ABC News Report

- Submitted By Revin Fellows -
August 1, 2015

Black Economics Matter
Buy Black Every Day 
August 1, 2015 - August 31, 2015

A number of community organizations are working together to promote a Black Economics Matter Initiative, the goal of which is to get as many individuals as possible to make a purchase from a black-owned establishment each day for thirty-one (31) days straight, August 1st through August 31st.

In addition to traditional purchases such as visiting a black-owned restaurant or buying from a black-owned retail store, 'buying black' also includes activities such as opening an account in a black-owned financial institution, donating to a black-founded or run NPO, hiring black tradesmen and consultants, visiting a black doctor, subscribing to a black-owned newspaper or online blog, investing with a black-managed publicly traded firm, donating to a black political action committee, commissioning a painting from a black artist, visiting a black cultural institution or event, etc.

COAL supports this effort and strongly urges its members, partners and greater community-of-interest to embrace this initiative and commit to 'buying Black' throughout the month of August.
- Submitted by Eugene Dillanado, Publisher -

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