Israeli intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz said last week that the total boost to the Iranian economy of easing sanctions could be $40 billion a year. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki disagreed, saying: “There are very large, inaccurate, false numbers out there in terms of what’s on the table.” And Colin Kahl, a former senior Pentagon official, said the figure was closer to $6-7 billion.
Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in Bloomberg last October that the U.S. was planning to release the $50 billion Iranian frozen assets after the deal is signed. That’s before letting Iran go back to selling its oil for $120 billion a year (it’s down to $45 billion). Whom do you trust, Bloomberg or the Obama kids?
The FT connects Israel’s latest warnings to the diplomatic talks with Iran scheduled for Wednesday, which U.S. officials say are “close” to success.
Of course, if you define “success” as Iran gets all its frozen assets and renews oil sales on the open market while putting its nuclear works on hold for six months—if at all—then we’re all winners, big success all around. But those pesky Jews just can’t be satisfied.
Benjamin Netanyahu did the news shows again on Sunday, blasting Obama and Kerry for the poor deal with Iran. And French president François Hollande, after the inevitable visit to Yad Vashem on a three-day visit to Israel, reiterated his tough demands of Iran.
Netanyahu told CNN on Sunday that “an exceedingly bad deal” with Iran was at hand. He warned that any easing of the sanctions would send “companies and countries scrambling” to invest there, with Tehran having to do nothing to earn it, in terms of abandoning its nukes works.
“I think a lot is being offered by the P5 + 1 for Iran,” Netanyahu said. “It’s getting just an enormous deal, from their point of view, and it’s giving practically nothing in return. They’re keeping their infrastructure to make nuclear bombs.”