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Posts Tagged ‘p5+1’

Iran Interim Agreement to Start Two Months After Announcement

Monday, January 13th, 2014

In November the world was told that the P5+1 countries with Iran had entered into an agreement known as the Geneva Interim Agreement.

Not exactly.

On Sunday, Jan. 12, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Interim Agreement announced nearly two months ago will finally become effective on Jan. 20.

Kerry said that for the next six months Iran will be taking steps to live up to “its commitments,” including “rendering the entire stockpile of its 20% enriched uranium unusable for further enrichment.”

Kerry said that the United States and its P5+1 partners will exercise “extraordinary vigilance” in ensuring that Iran lives up to those commitments as it monitors Iran’s activities along with the members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In exchange for Iran fulfilling its commitments, “limited and targeted relief” will be made to Iran.

“The $4.2 billion in restricted Iranian assets that Iran will gain access to as part of the agreement will be released in regular installments throughout the six months. The final installment will not be available to Iran until the very last day,” Kerry explained.

No details about the timetable for those relief installments was revealed.

Okay, now that we finally know, sort of, what the Interim Agreement is about and when it will begin, a question arises.

What did the previous announcement mean if the details and even the date of implementation had not yet been worked out?  Maybe that one was the Almost Interim Agreement and now we are finally scheduled to soon activate the Interim Agreement.

But next up for these hardy negotiators is what even the eternal optimist Kerry describes as a much harder task: “negotiating a comprehensive agreement that resolves outstanding concerns about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Yeah, that one is going to be tough. Because many people paying attention to this issue do not believe that Iran’s nuclear program has anything peaceful about it. In fact, even Iran’s usual allies, Russia and China, agreed to sanctions against Iran that were sufficiently painful they induced Iran to come to the negotiating table.

But just as the sanctions became sufficiently severe as to gain the attention of the Mullahs in Iran, the Obama administration is now adamantly opposed to even holding out the threat of reimposing sanctions.

This, despite Team Obama’s constant touting throughout the last presidential campaign its strength by having imposed “biting sanctions” against Iran.

The administration is now warning congress not even to pass an “Interim Agreement” to impose sanctions should Iran not comply with its commitments under the Interim Geneva Agreement.

Kerry warned in his public statement on Sunday:

We now have an obligation to give our diplomats and experts every chance to succeed in these difficult negotiations. I very much appreciate Congress’ critical role in imposing the sanctions that brought Iran to the table, but I feel just as strongly that now is not the time to impose additional sanctions that could threaten the entire negotiating process. Now is not the time for politics. Now is the time for statesmanship, for the good of our country, the region, and the world.

Opponents of the view that Iran does not need to have the threat of renewed and robust sanctions landing on it within nanoseconds of a verified lapse in its commitments under the Interim or any other Agreement, not surprisingly, nodded politely and did the opposite.

Within hours of Kerry’s announcement of the impending implementation of the Interim Agreement allegedly made two months ago, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)  issued a statement of his own.

In his statement, Kirk reminded Americans that the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act is the bipartisan product of a majority of the U.S. Senate. Those senators believe it is absolutely essential for there to be a metaphorical weapon drawn, but with the safety catch firmly on, aimed at Iran.

Report: Iran Balks over Centrifuges

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Iran is holding up progress for implementing the interim deal agreed to by world powers in November because of the issue of centrifuges that can be used to purify uranium to level that would make it suitable to make a nuclear weapon.

“This issue (centrifuges) was among the main factors in stopping the previous technical discussions on December 19-21,” a Western diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

That is exactly why there is a bi-partisan effort in Congress to pass a new bill that would place harsher sanctions on Iran if it reneges on the interim  agreement.

The sponsors of the bill, Democrats as well as Republicans, don’t trust Iran to have suddenly surrendered its nuclear program. President Barack Obama, who has put his weight behind “engaging” Iran diplomatically, has vowed to veto the bill if it is passed.

Iran said it has installed new and advanced centrifuges since the interim deal was reached, an issue that is to be discussed this week in meetings with the P5+1 countries.

“As part of the (November 24) agreement, Iran is permitted to engage in R&D (research and development), but that is tempered by the fact that it is prohibited to install new centrifuges, except as required by wear and tear,” one diplomats was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The interim deal is to be implemented on January 20 if Iran and the world powers can overcome disputes on the wording and meaning of the November agreement.

Reuters quoted an Israeli official as saying, “It was clear from the outset that the Iranians would play games. They did it in the past, and now they’re up to their old tricks again.”

Israel Has ‘License’ to Act without US on Iran, Says Mike Huckabee

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Now that the U.S. and other P5+1 powers made an interim nuclear deal with Iran without involving Israel, the Jewish state is free to act as it sees fit on the Iranian issue without consulting America, former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told JNS.org.

“I think now [the Israelis] have really a license to act without having to be scolded for not having consulted the U.S. for their plans,” Huckabee said. The United States “has indicated that they are going to act independently of Israel as it relates to Iran,” Huckabee continued, calling that a “very foolish policy.”

“I think now [the Israelis] have really a license to act without having to be scolded for not having consulted the U.S. for their plans,” he said.

When asked about the possibility of making another presidential run in 2016, Huckabee, the runner-up to U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the 2008 Republican primary, said, “I’m looking at it very seriously.” Huckabee—an ordained Southern Baptist minister who currently hosts the talk show “Huckabee” on Fox News—said he is having exploratory meetings to determine “whether people who I trust, and people whose views I have confidence in, believe that there is a pathway forward for me through the primary.”

PA Official: We Reject US Safeguards for Israel in Peace Plan

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

For days the mainstream media has been filled with headlines condemning Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his intransigence in thwarting U.S. efforts towards a Middle East peace accord and for trying to torpedo the West’s appeasement deal with Iran.

You could wall paper an entire house with the articles criticizing Netanyahu for “damaging the relationship” with the U.S.  Why, even former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined the croaking chorus with this gem: “We’ve [Israel] declared war on the U.S. government. You can’t deny this.”

But on Thursday, Dec. 5, it was the Palestinian Arabs who slammed the door in U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s face.

The Palestinian Authority rejected Kerry’s ideas for security arrangements under a possible future peace accord with Israel, a PA official said, according to Reuters.

“The Palestinian side rejected them because they would only lead to prolonging and maintaining the occupation,” according to the official, who refused to allow his name to be used.

Those security arrangements were the ace in the hole the U.S. was counting on to lure the Israelis into accepting a peace plan.

General John Allen, the U.S. envoy to the peace process, discussed with Netanyahu the issue of possible security arrangements to assuage Israel’s fears for any final status agreement that would leave the Jewish state vulnerable.

Of primary concern is the ability of Israel to maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley and to have some control over airspace that could leave Israel vulnerable. A video of an American air security expert addressing the need for Israel to maintain such airspace control is at the end of this article.

The time may come when the United States and other countries will realize that any arrangement which provides adequate security to Israel will be rejected by the negotiators representing the Palestinian Arab leadership.

The so-called “Middle East peace talks” was one of two issues Kerry is expected to discuss with the leaders of the Israeli and the Palestinian Arab people.  The other issue is the recent agreement which the U.S., along with its P5+1 partners, allegedly reached with the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

That agreement has been widely criticized as a huge boon for Iran and a destabilizing force in the Middle East by most Israeli security experts as well as even some of President Obama’s most stalwart defenders, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School.

ZOA: Iran Deal Is Munich, Obama Is Chamberlain

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

The Zionist Organization of America blasted the interim Iran deal in the strongest terms, describing the agreement concluded over the weekend in Geneva between  the P5+1 –– the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States) and Germany –– and the Islamic Republic of Iran as an appeasement deal.

“This is our era’s new Munich and President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are the new Neville Chamberlains,” the ZOA stated.

Other prominent Jewish groups — including AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League — have also expressed strong reservations about the deal, but perhaps none in language quite so barbed as the ZOA.

The ZOA’s statement may actually be the closest in tone to the response of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who refrained from name-calling, but called the agreement a “historic mistake” that “made the world a much more dangerous place.”

‘Pollyanna Peres’ Tries to Keep Lid on Anger over Deal with Iran

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

President Shimon Peres played to role of Pollyanna following the “P5+1” deal with Iran and said, “This is an interim deal. The success or failure of the deal will be judged by results, not by words.”

He then addressed the Iranian people, assuming they have the freedom to listen, and told them, “You are not our enemies, and we are not yours. There is a possibility to solve this issue diplomatically. It is in your hands.

“Reject terrorism. Stop the nuclear program. Stop the development of long-range missiles. Israel like others in the international community prefers a diplomatic solution.”

Peres, who since time immemorial has done everything possible to pat the United States on the head, added that he personally has heard from President Barack Obama and other leaders that “the international community will not tolerate a nuclear Iran. And if the diplomatic path fails, the nuclear option will be prevented by other means. The alternative is far worse.”

 

 

Statement by President Obama on First Step Agreement on Iran’s Nuclear Program

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Statement By The President On First Step Agreement On Iran’s Nuclear Program

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, the United States — together with our close allies and partners — took an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses our concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.

Since I took office, I’ve made clear my determination to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As I’ve said many times, my strong preference is to resolve this issue peacefully, and we’ve extended the hand of diplomacy. Yet for many years, Iran has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community. So my administration worked with Congress, the United Nations Security Council and countries around the world to impose unprecedented sanctions on the Iranian government.

These sanctions have had a substantial impact on the Iranian economy, and with the election of a new Iranian President earlier this year, an opening for diplomacy emerged. I spoke personally with President Rouhani of Iran earlier this fall. Secretary Kerry has met multiple times with Iran’s Foreign Minister. And we have pursued intensive diplomacy — bilaterally with the Iranians, and together with our P5-plus-1 partners — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China, as well as the European Union.

Today, that diplomacy opened up a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon.

While today’s announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal. For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program, and key parts of the program will be rolled back. Iran has committed to halting certain levels of enrichment and neutralizing part of its stockpiles. Iran cannot use its next-generation centrifuges, which are used for enriching uranium. Iran cannot install or start up new centrifuges, and its production of centrifuges will be limited. Iran will halt work at its plutonium reactor. And new inspections will provide extensive access to Iran’s nuclear facilities and allow the international community to verify whether Iran is keeping its commitments.

These are substantial limitations which will help prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon. Simply put, they cut off Iran’s most likely paths to a bomb. Meanwhile, this first step will create time and space over the next six months for more negotiations to fully address our comprehensive concerns about the Iranian program. And because of this agreement, Iran cannot use negotiations as cover to advance its program.

On our side, the United States and our friends and allies have agreed to provide Iran with modest relief, while continuing to apply our toughest sanctions. We will refrain from imposing new sanctions, and we will allow the Iranian government access to a portion of the revenue that they have been denied through sanctions. But the broader architecture of sanctions will remain in place and we will continue to enforce them vigorously. And if Iran does not fully meet its commitments during this six-month phase, we will turn off the relief and ratchet up the pressure.

Over the next six months, we will work to negotiate a comprehensive solution. We approach these negotiations with a basic understanding: Iran, like any nation, should be able to access peaceful nuclear energy. But because of its record of violating its obligations, Iran must accept strict limitations on its nuclear program that make it impossible to develop a nuclear weapon.

In these negotiations, nothing will be agreed to unless everything is agreed to. The burden is on Iran to prove to the world that its nuclear program will be exclusively for peaceful purposes.

If Iran seizes this opportunity, the Iranian people will benefit from rejoining the international community, and we can begin to chip away at the mistrust between our two nations. This would provide Iran with a dignified path to forge a new beginning with the wider world based on mutual respect. If, on the other hand, Iran refuses, it will face growing pressure and isolation.

Over the last few years, Congress has been a key partner in imposing sanctions on the Iranian government, and that bipartisan effort made possible the progress that was achieved today. Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Congress. However, now is not the time to move forward on new sanctions -– because doing so would derail this promising first step, alienate us from our allies and risk unraveling the coalition that enabled our sanctions to be enforced in the first place.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/statement-by-president-obama-on-first-step-agreement-on-irans-nuclear-program/2013/11/24/

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