Iran Affairs |November 16, 2013
So the Russians are saying that the deal was complete and everyone was about to go home before the US Sec of State showed up and killed the deal.
“There was an American-proposed draft, which eventually received Iran’s consent.” Lavrov thus confirmed the fact that the United States and Iran had reached informal agreement on a negotiating text…
Then Lavrov revealed for the first time that the U.S. delegation had made changes in the negotiating text that had already been worked out with Iran at the insistence of France without having consulted Russia.
Wow, that’s pretty familiar, no? And before that time, they did the same with the EU-3 negotiations too — made sure that no deal would ever go through, regardless of the assurances they had provided Iran. Seems like a rather deliberate pattern of supposedly “missed chances,” wouldn’t you say?
I am not holding my breath waiting for any sort of actual deal to happen with regard to these nuclear negotiations, as you know. But I do think it is interesting how the coverage has led to the scales falling off people’s eyes about who is pulling who’s strings in dealing with Iran. Suddenly we’re seeing articles (albeit in UK’s Guardian) raising the question of whether Israeli interests correspond to US interests or not, and people are wondering why the US has to be on the side of the likes of the Saudis in this affair, and we’re also seeing mainstream reporting on how US senators are falling over themselves to appease Israeli lobbyists. An AIPAC boss once stated that “Lobbying is like a night flower that blooms best in the dark” (or something to that effect) and yet they could not help boasting about their power to get 70 US senators to sign even a dinner napkin in an hour either…and now, both Israel and the Pro-Israeli lobby have been outed (or, they outed themselves with their rabid push for war war and more war.) I mean, if you’re a proIsraeli PR agent, it must really burn your ass that a shady billionaire old Repubican casino mogul has emerged as your spokesman — and Sheldon managed to creat quite a stir too.
This is doing some real damage to Israeli influence in the US. People are starting to seriously question why the US is toeing Israel’s line. Israelis pride themselves on chutzpah, they don’t seem to realize that people resent being pushed and will eventually push back.
According to news reports, Obama and Hollande issued a statment in which they “expressed their shared determination to obtain from Iran every guarantee that it will finally give up its military nuclear programme.”
Going as far as being deliberately insulting by referring to Iran’s nuclear program so matter-of-factly as a weapons program is nothing but a poke in the eye at Iran, especially since even US intelligence sources have said that no one in Iran has made a decision to make nukes.
I mean, think about it. These people went as far as to murder scientists by blowing up their cars. They went as far as to manufacture fake evidence of nuclear weapons work and pass it off with the Associated Press. They spied on the former IAEA head, called him an “Iranian agent” and engineered his replacement with a docile and loyal servant under whom the IAEA has been turned into a politicized joke. They’ve literally turned international law — trade law, nuclear law, law of war — on its ear … all of this not to prevent any nuclear weapons in Iran — since they themselves admit there isn’t any — but simply in order to “get” Iran. And these are just some of the atrocities they’ve committed. But suddenly now something has changed so massively that they’ve given all this up — and why, because Rohani was elected? THEY DON’T CARE. Anyway, lets remember folks, Rowhani is not something new in the nuclear talks — he headed the talks while Khatami was president. And nothing much happened then either.
Anyway I highly recommend reading these two interviews (video and transcript) with an actual nuclear weapons inspector Robert Kelley, who is a critic of the IAEA reports on Iran, in which he debunks many of the current myths about Arak, and notes that the IAEA seems to have dropped its insistence on (re-)visiting Parchin, which was never really legitimate anyway. The fact is that this agreement with the IAEA is intended to be non-binding, and subject to the progress in the main negotiations with the P5. Nevertheless having made even this non-binding agreement to agree later, I will bet you that even this will be used against Iran with yells and screams about how Iran is “failing” to meet its “obligations” under even this non-agreement.
Note that Robert Kelley suggests that Iran may have been justified in investigating nuclear weapons back in the days of the “Alleged Studies” because Saddam was making nukes. Of course, there’s no actual evidence that Iran did so, nor has the US been able to point to anything concrete other than claims about Iran’s “intentions to obtain capabilities” to make nukes, whatever that means.
However I should point out that nuclear weapons studies by themselves would not be a violation of the NPT or Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA, until and unless there was a “diversion of nuclear material for non-peaceful uses” involved — which the IAEA has explicitly stated it has never found even with respect to previously undeclared nuclear activities by Iran. So even if Iran had done all sorts of studies on nuclear weapons, it would not have been in any way illegal, so there’s nothing for Iran to “admit” …nor hide. After all, Iran happily admitted that it had developed a stockpile of chemical weapons in respons to Saddam’s US-backed genocide and chemical weapons atoricities so they’re not particularly reticent about stuff like that. In fact the nuclear program in Iran was never a secret nor was the enrichment program, so the accusation against Iran tends to vary from having had nuclear weapons programs in the past to “intending to acquire the capability” to get one in the indefinite future, depending on how the wind blows.
Remember this is a nuclear weapons program for which no evidence has ever turned up despite the fact that Iran — with its single functioning reactor — has been consuming a great part of the IAEA’s inspections budget and manpower for quite a while now, to the apparent frustration of some IAEA officials and contrary to the terms of Iran’s safeguards agreement which make it clear that the intrusiveness of inspections must be minimized.
I also enjoyed reading an op-ed by the Israeli Intelligence Minister who suggest a “simple, logical” solution to the nuclear dispute with Iran: Iran must just gave up her rights, naturally — rights that the Israelis themselves have expanded upon to include making weapons of genocide which the Iranians have explicitly and repeatedly and thus far verifiably disavowed on moral grounds. Go home, Yuval, you’re drunk.
Anyway I will point out Dan Joyner’s blog again on Arms Control Law, and particularly his post about the right to enrich, which the US has now explicitly denied. Note that none of the reporting on the issue have mentioned that the US nuclear negotiations with Vietnam were recently completed when the US had to give up on forcing Vietnam to give up enrichment. They don’t mention the fact that this dispute about enrichment is far bigger than Iran, and is in fact a Norht-South conflict over control of the sole source of energy in the near post-oil world. There will be more from Prof. Joyner published soon so keep your eyes peeled.