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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mohammad Javad Zarif’

UK, Iran Reopen Embassies, But No US ‘Comeback’ Yet

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran on Sunday, as Iran did the same in London.

Persian language graffiti scrawled in 2011 is still marked in red on the lime green walls of the British embassy in Tehran. Above the portrait of the queen is written: ‘Death to the English.’

In Tehran, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond was in attendance to mark the occasion. In London, former foreign secretary Jack Straw did the honors at the reopening of the Iranian embassy in South Kensington.

The moves come four years after the UK embassy was trashed by a mob in November 2011. Among the rioters were members of the brutal Basij Iranian militia force.

Hammond told reporters in Iran there is a “huge appetite” from UK businesses who wish to invest and create conditions for British banks to finance trade deals with Tehran. Also in attendance in Tehran, in fact, was a trade delegation, and the exchequer secretary to the treasury, Damian Hinds. The officials are hoping to discuss possible future trade opportunities during their visit.

The low-key ceremony heralds a renewal of economic and other ties between Iran and Europe. It came in response to the agreement last month between Iran and U.S.-led world powers on a nuclear deal that eventually will lift sanctions from the Islamic Republic.

Foreign ministers from Italy, France and Germany have all been to Iran already. Most of Europe, in fact, has diplomatic relations in Tehran.

Despite America having led the efforts to arrange the agreement, Tehran has given the United States a cold shoulder.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif told reporters on Sunday the “illogical attitude” of the United States towards Iran means the time is not yet ripe for a similar move with Washington DC.

“It seems that there needs to be a change in that kind of attitude and behavior on the part of the U.S.,” Zarif said. “So the situation is different with the U.S.”

In the early days of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian students destroyed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and seized hostages, whom they held for 444 days. Diplomatic ties have been frozen since that time.

President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any measure from the Congress that moves to disapprove the nuclear deal. If Obama’s veto is not overturned by the Congress, he will have succeeded in launching the process of lifting a wealth of sanctions that have choked the Iranian economy and helped to hold back its nuclear weapons development.

US Experts: That Activity in Parchin Site is No Road Renovation

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Saturday rejected US media claims about suspicious new developments at the Parchin facility, complaining that the Western media “have no other goal but to create an atmosphere of misunderstanding,” IRNA reported.

“The comments show that all the claims raised against the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue are baseless,” Zarif insisted, adding that “it has been announced that a road building project has been implemented in the area.”

But the US-based think tank Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS, that’s actually their name, since 1993) is insisting that’s no road work over there, pointing to satellite images that show vehicles and containers being moved at Parchin.

Parchin is a military complex, some 19 miles southeast of Tehran. In July, the Iranian UN mission declared that there was no nuclear weapon production on the site and that the suspicions about Iran reactivating the site are born by a misconception caused by road reconstruction opposite the Mamloo Dam, which is located near the complex.

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency is very suspicious about Iran’s Parchin facility, and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has voiced concern about the kind of access the IAEA expected to have there.

“We cannot get [IAEA head Yukiya Amano] to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin,” Corker told reporters last week.

We probably will not.

ISIS said the satellite images were taken after Iran signed its deal with the 5+1 world powers on July 14.

“This renewed activity occurring after the [signing of the deal] raises obvious concerns that Iran is conducting further [cleanup] efforts to defeat IAEA verification,” the think tank’s report states.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Thursday that a cleanup effort, if one is taking place, would be “cause for concern.” But he insisted the US is confident it knows what’s taking place at Parchin and is able to detect nuclear activity at any Iranian site.

“You can’t cover up past nuclear activity very easily. It lasts for decades, even longer,” Toner said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest played down the possibility of Iranian efforts to restart nuclear works, but also said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss specific intelligence matters.

Iranian FM on Regional Tour to ‘Sell’ Nuclear Deal

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif set out on a three-stop tour of the region Sunday to begin an effort to “sell” the P5+1 nuclear deal to skeptical Arab nations in the Middle East.

A number of countries in addition to Israel harbor grave doubts about Iran’s motivations for making the deal, let alone its ability to stick to the terms of the agreement. Among those who view the deal with extreme caution are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

Bahrain is also giving the accord a second look, but finds itself in a difficult position. Host to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, the country can hardly say it lacks for protection from Iranian aggression – even nuclear aggression.

That didn’t stop Iran from providing covert assistance and strong encouragement to a Shi’ite-led opposition movement within Bahrain during the Arab Spring. Nor has it apparently stopped Iran from sponsoring nascent terror operations in the country.

A smuggling ring was recently caught trying to bring weapons, ammunition and explosives into the kingdom; authorities told reporters that two of the suspects caught in the sting were Bahraini nationals who received military training in Iran, and who confessed to receiving the contraband from “Iranian handlers.”

Nevertheless, in a speech earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei included Bahrain in the list of “regional friends” Iran would continue to support despite its nuclear deal, along with Yemen, Syria, Iraq and “the oppressed Palestinian nation.”

But Bahrain was not Zarif’s itinerary: on Saturday, Manama announced it was recalling its ambassador to Iran for consultations in the wake of “continued hostile statements made by Iranian officials toward Bahrain,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency.

Zarif began his tour with a visit to Kuwait, where he was greeted by Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah in a red-carpet welcome at the airport. Within hours Zarif was in talks with Kuwait’s head of state, emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

The Iranian diplomat is slated to travel to Qatar and then to Iraq, where he will brief the heads of state in both countries – as he has in Kuwait – on the details of the nuclear deal Iran signed with the U.S.-led delegation of world powers. According to Iranian state-run media, Zarif will also discuss ways to “improve cooperation and fight terrorism” as well.

In the case of Qatar, Iran shares with Doha control over a huge underwater natural gas field, the development of which may come up for discussion due to the imminent lifting of sanctions as part of the deal that was signed.

With regard to Baghdad, Iran months ago sent its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps and other troops to battle Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists which currently control one-third of that country. Most of the Iraqi territory that is not controlled by Da’esh at this point is controlled by Iran.

“Iran and the regional countries are facing common threats that should be confronted through mutual cooperation,” Zarif said, according to the Iranian FARS news agency.

Zarif Rejoicing: Iran Deal ‘Ruined’ Israeli Plans Against Iran’

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

(JNi.media) Since they reached an agreement with the West, which has just been approved by the UN Security Council, the official Iranian media (is there any other) have been celebrating the regime’s victory.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in parliament on Tuesday that his country’s nuclear agreement with the 5+1 powers has “ruined the Zionist regime security plan against the Islamic republic.”

He also said that “Iran has further declared to everyone that its nuclear enrichment, facilities, research and development would not be stopped.”

Zarif went to the parliament with the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi to present the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The prolonged and breathtaking nuclear agreement between Iran and the six powers indicated that the Islamic republic would negotiate but cannot be blackmailed,” Zarif said, pointing to the Israelis’ anger at the deal as an indication that “Iran is a powerful country in the region and across the globe.”

Zarif declared that Iran’s successful nuclear negotiations mean that “nobody would dare to threaten the Iranians.”

In a similar vain, last week, the leader of Iran’s Jewish community Haroun Yashayaei, published an article titled “Your Time Is Over Mr. Netanyahu,” focusing on the central concern of the Iranian regime, namely, will the Israelis attack.

“The Israeli prime minister was daydreaming and when the Americans had announced that the military option against Iran was no longer on the table as negotiations were the best solution for Iran’s nuclear issue, Netanyahu made a fuss by claiming that, even without the support of the United States, his army will carry out a military attack on Iran,” Yashayaei wrote, noting that “even when his own military commanders told Netanyahu that realization of his dream was neither possible, nor proportionate to the capabilities of the Israeli regime and army of Israel, he still didn’t understand that his time is over.”

Yashayaei further called Netanyahu “so narcissistic that none of these developments can deter him from following his delusional goals.”

So they’re still a little worried.

Western Officials Promoting ‘Breakthrough’ in Talks with Iran

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Western diplomats Saturday “leaked” to media that a “breakthrough” has taken place in talks with Iran over a deal to supervise and limit its nuclear program, but an agreement clearly is not in hand.

Iran denied that a partial agreement had been reached.

The presumed progress centered on future sanctions, but there were no indications that negotiators had hurdled the issues of development of advanced centrifuges and of lifting United Nations sanctions.

There also is no agreement on a mechanism or re-imposing sanctions if Iran does not live up to its end of the deal. The issue of having to renew sanctions could be one of the most controversial when Congress reviews a deal, if one is concluded.  The temporary agreement reached earlier this year would make renewal of sanctions a long and drawn-out process  that would take so long that it Iran might be able to produce a numeral weapon in the meantime.

Iran’s government-controlled Fars News Agency reported Saturday:

A source close to the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six world powers underway in Vienna, Austria, rejected reports about partial agreement between Iran and the sextet, stressing that any final agreement with the world powers should include detailed solutions and mechanisms for resolving all issues.

Given the principle that ‘nothing will be agreed upon as long as there is agreement on everything’, the questions asking if there has been a specific agreement on a certain topic is basically wrong,’ the source who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the talks told FNA on Saturday.

The new deadline for concluding a deal is July 7, three days away, which means that nothing conclusive and reliable can be believed until a few hours before the deadline, if it not extended again.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry celebrated  the Fourth of July Saturday, as the Jewish Press.com reported here might happen, by meeting twice with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday.

Secretary of State John Kerry Breaks a Leg

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

While bicycling outside of Geneva, near Sconzier, France, US Secretary of State John Kerry crashed his bicycle into a curb and broke his leg.

Kerry was transported by helicopter to Geneva’s main hospital. He was reported to be conscious and stable, according to AP.

Kerry was holding nuclear talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Once he’s out, Kerry will be heading back to Boston, calling off the rest of his 4 nation diplomatic tour, which included a planned trip to Spain and Paris.

Get well.

Latest EU Brilliance: Have Iran Star in Syrian Civil War Negotiations

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Federica Mogherini, foreign policy chief of the European Union, expressed hope that Iran would play an important but constructive role in a renewed United Nations effort to restart negotiations towards ending the years-long Syrian civil war.

Mogherini met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on Tuesday, April 28. Prior to her meeting, Mogherini said that she sees her role as ensuring that “negotiations proceed in a speedy and good way.”

What she meant by “good,” she explained to reporters in New York, is that the negotiations should result in Iran being prevented from developing nuclear weapons, but that it be allowed the “right to deploy a peaceful program as everybody else.”

Mogherini told Zarif it is crucial that the P5+1 powers successfully conclude nuclear negotiations with Iran. She said that doing so could boost Iran’s regional role in a positive manner, Reuters reported.

The EU foreign policy chief said she understands the concerns of many countries regarding Iran, but said it would be “naive to imagine that a country like Iran could simply disappear from the map.”

Mogherini said it was important “for Iran to play a major, major but positive, role on Syria in particular, to encourage the regime to … (support) a Syrian-led transition,” she said, referring to a 2012 U.N. plan for a political transition in Syria.

The deadline for a final nuclear deal with Iran is June 30. Iran and the six major global powers – the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany – reached a tentative framework agreement on April 2.

The U.N. envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said he will begin meeting in May with the various players both within and outside Syria, in order to assess whether there is any hope of brokering an end to the war.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked de Mistura earlier this month to “focus much more to re-launch a political process” after his attempt to broker a local truce in Aleppo failed.

Many Arab countries in the region, Israel and the United States have resisted the inclusion of Iran in Syrian peace talks. That is because they, understandably, consider Tehran to be the problem, not the solution.

Iran has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a staunch ally. It was the widespread belief of many inside the country, and certainly of the current U.S. administration, that Assad had to step down. His refusal to do so, and the regime’s resort to extreme violence including the use of gas to murder citizens of his own nation, ignited the conflagration that has consumed entire cities and killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians over the past four years.

Mogherini is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Wednesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/latest-eu-brilliance-have-iran-star-in-syrian-civil-war-negotiations/2015/04/29/

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