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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘p5+1’

Iran Reneges on Major Point: Will Obama Keep Begging Anyway?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

With just two days to go before a “framework” agreement must be reached between the P5+1 countries and Iran regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program, the Iranians suddenly issued a surprise punch to the solar plexus of the other parties.

Despite an already agreed upon commitment, Iran will not send out of the country the enriched uranium it has spent years and billions of dollars to create.

Iran had previously agreed to send its stockpile elsewhere – Russia was the agreed-upon destination – thereby preventing Iran from using the material it had already produced to create nuclear weapons.

This latest revelation came during the current round of talks between Iran and six major world powers – Britain, France, China, Russia, the United States and Germany – taking place at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The negotiators are working to hammer out a provisional framework deal by Tuesday night, which will be followed by a final agreement this summer.

But on Sunday, March 29, Iran’s deputy foreign minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi told the Iranian media: “There is no question of sending the stocks abroad,” Agence France-Presse reported.

Given Iran’s mercurial posturing throughout the negotiations and its latest brazen reneging on a critical aspect of the deal, critics of the U.S. administration’s diplomatic efforts, including Republicans in Congress as well as several sunni Arab nations in the Middle East and also Israel, are sure to become even more vociferously opposed to the signing of any deal.

If Iran is permitted to retain its already enriched uranium, it becomes much harder to state with confidence that it is not intending to continue its march towards nuclear weaponization.

Over the weekend, U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner told CNN that he is even less confident about Iran’s willingness to abide by any deal it reaches pertaining to its nuclear program.

“We have got a regime that’s never quite kept their word about anything,” he said. “I just don’t understand why we would sign an agreement with a group of people who, in my opinion, have no intention of keeping their word.”

For its part, Iran is upping its own demands from the rest of the world.

Iran demands that all sanctions and UN resolutions imposing crippling restrictions against Tehran be scrapped as part of its nuclear deal with major world powers, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said.

“It is time for P5+1 to make tough decisions and to lift all sanctions,” Araqchi told journalists at the Lausanne talks.

“All six UN resolutions should be lifted,” he added.

Iran Forces Kerry to Cancel Trip to US and Remain for More Talks

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has canceled a scheduled trip to the United States thanks to Iran’s unsurprising resistance to sign an agreement on its nuclear program three days before a deadline imposed by the Obama administration.

As reported here last night, the headlines about an “imminent” agreement are more of an expression by naïve Western leaders and analysts than they are a reflection of reality.

Kerry was planning to fly Sunday to an event honoring the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Instead, he will be hold more talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after having going through eight rounds of conversations in four days.

Associated Press journalist Mat Lee tweeted Sunday morning:

Big news from #Iran talks:

Q: How’s it going?

Kerry: It’s going all right. We’re working.

Q: Think we’ll get there?

Kerry: I don’t know.

Kerry and Zarif’s meeting Sunday lasted for 75 minutes.

Anyone betting on an agreement a day before the March 31 deadline should take heavy odds and be prepared to lose.

As for March 31, remember it is followed by April Fool’s Day.

 

 

Iranian Journalist Defects, Says US Team Speaking for Iran

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Amir Hossein Motaghi, an Iranian journalist, defected during the P5+1 nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to a British Telegraph report.

Motaghi said the Iranian reporters at the P5+1 negotiations are primarily there to control the flow of news back to Iran, stating, “My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.”

One of Motaghi’s more disturbing comments was a claim that the US negotiating team was taking a more conciliatory line with Iran than some of the other members of the P5+1 team which is made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, plus Germany.

Motaghi said,

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Amir Hossein Motaghi managed Iranian president’s Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 electoral campaign.

He had heard he was possibly going to be arrested when he returned to Iran.

H/T Omri Ceren

Iran Says ‘Don’t Believe the Headlines’ that Deal is Imminent

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Iranian media warned on Saturday that reports of a draft for a deal on its nuclear program are totally incorrect.

Reuters reported on Friday that the French Foreign Minister said an agreement is “close” for a two of three-page agreement, while more cautious voices said it is not certain.

The news agency stated:

‘The sides are very, very close to the final step and it could be signed or agreed and announced verbally,’ a senior Iranian official familiar with the talks told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Other officials echoed the remarks while warning that several crucial issues were still being hotly debated.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the parties were “better than halfway” to a deal, according to the Associated Press.

Iran, just like the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League, have a knack for squeezing anyone who even begins  to compromise, which they consider a sign of weakness.

The Western mentality of setting a deadline is a two-edged sword. It acts as a threat that Iran may be punished if it does not sign on the dotted line, but it also works to Iran’s advantage, which knows very well that President Obama is shivering in his White House boots at the thought of having to use muscle.

Iran’s regime-controlled Fars News Agency reported Saturday that a source “dismissed the Reuters’ report as groundless and media hype.”

That could mean that the West thinks Iran is ready to agree to terms. Iran, as usual, will try make U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the rest of the P5+1 leaders sweat it out and possibly score a point for its ego by forcing the West to wait until after the “deadline” to sign a deal.

“Intensive negotiations with the P5+1 are continuing at all levels to achieve solutions to different issues,” a source” told Fars.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday night:

We are not close to a deal as reaching a comprehensive agreement needs political will and choosing between pressure and agreement. We are proceeding, we still have work to do and we are trying hard.

Deputy negotiator Abbas Araqchi said. “All differences are serious and we are trying to reduce these differences…..  We are still hopeful and optimistic, but it is still soon to state if we will be able to obtain a solution on all issues or not.”

Zarif tweeted, “Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity. It’s high time that the US and its allies were to choose between pressure and agreement.”

 

Bomb Iran, Says John Bolton

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Bombing Iran is the only effective way to stop its nuclear threat in its tracks and prevent a regional nuclear arms race, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote n The New York Times Thursday.

Bolton previously has called on Israel to bomb Iran. With the United States and the other P5+1 powers on the verge of signing a deal with Iran, Bolton wrote that neither sanctions nor a “bad deal” will prevent what he called a “bad situation” from becoming  the “brink of catastrophe”

Bolton wrote:

The arms race has begun….No way would the Sunni Saudis allow the Shiite Persians to outpace them in the quest for dominance within Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitical hegemony….

Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood — even if they couldn’t admit it publicly — that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure.

Iran is a different story. Extensive progress in uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing reveal its ambitions. Saudi, Egyptian and Turkish interests are complex and conflicting, but faced with Iran’s threat, all have concluded that nuclear weapons are essential.

He pointed out that “Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with South Korea, China, France and Argentina, aiming to build a total of 16 reactors by 2030..” Pakistan, whose leaders recently met with Saudi officials, could supply Egypt and Turkey with nuclear technology, and there always is North Korea ready to make a buck by helping to arm the world with nukes.

“Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required.

“Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”

One of the formidable obstacles to an attack on Iran is the difficulty of reaching its underground nuclear sites, but Bolton argued Thursday that there is no need to destroy Tehran’s entire nuclear infrastructure.

It is enough to set back Iran’s nuclear program by three to five years, he said.

He concluded that if President Barack Obama does not stop Iran’s nuclear development program, his “biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East.”

Iran Confers with Russia before Resumption of Talks with P5+1

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has consulted with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in preparation for a resumption of negotiations Wednesday with the P5+1 towards reaching an interim agreement before the end of the month on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Russia is a member of the P5+1 but also has a vested interest in Iran’s nuclear development, in which it has invested billions of dollars.

“It’s high time for the US and its allies to choose: pressure or agreement,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter account last week.

 

France Joins Netanyahu Chorus Against Bad Obama-Iran Deal

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Israel is no longer standing alone against what Prime Minister Netanyahu has called a bad US nuclear deal with Iran.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius expressed his country’s dismay with the deal President Obama is trying to push through.

France, Fabius said, wants an agreement with Iran, but a “robust” agreement that would prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, saying, “we have to protect ourselves from the eventuality of an Iranian atomic bomb”. He added that a bad deal would lead to a regional arms race.

Fabius told the French delegation, part of the P5+1 in Switzerland, to make sure no further concessions were offered to the Iranians. He also told the press, that until everything agreed upon, nothing is agreed.

The position France is taking is apparently too tough for Obama, who called French President Francois Hollande on Friday to discuss the disparity between the French and American positions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/france-joins-netanyahu-chorus-against-bad-obama-iran-deal/2015/03/21/

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