Late last night, Iran and the P 5+1 decided to 'stop the clock' to allow 'negotiations' to continue beyond midnight on March 31. While US Secretary of State John Kerry is currently meeting with Iranian chief negotiator Javad Zarif, the bottom line is, according to Bloomberg's Eli Lake, that Iran has already won
With a final announcement due any moment from negotiations over
Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Iran appears to be
doing quite well for itself.
After all, before the real negotiations began, Iran won vague
recognition -- from the U.S. and five other great powers -- that it has a right to enrich uranium.
Between 2008 and 2012, the United Nations Security Council passed five
resolutions sanctioning Tehran for violating the nuclear
non-proliferation treaty by operating centrifuges at facilities it had
not bothered to tell the International Atomic Energy Agency about.
Now, if press leaks turn out to be correct, Iran is on the brink of
securing an agreement to allow it to keep thousands of those
centrifuges, and also to operate its laboratory at Fordow, a facility
burrowed deep into a mountain for the production of what Zarif assures
us are medical isotopes. When U.S. spies smoked out that facility in
2009, Obama demanded that Iran come clean about all of its past nuclear
activities. Last week, the IAEA reported that Iran continues to
stonewall the agency on the possible military dimensions of its nuclear
program before 2003.
Zarif's ability to negotiate concessions despite Iran's shaky past
would be impressive enough for any foreign minister. But consider that
he was able to do so even as his bosses in Tehran waged a successful
proxy war against Western allies throughout the Middle East. In Yemen,
a pro-American government fell this month to Iranian backed Houthi
fighters, and prompted Saudi Arabia to launch an air war to beat them
back. In Syria, Iranian support has been vital to the survival of Bashar
al-Assad, the dictator Obama used to say had to go.
How does Zarif do it?
Read the whole thing
. Part of how Zarif does it is the milquetoast negotiating style of Kerry and Obama, who have overdosed on seeing these negotiations from the Iranian point of view.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, John Kerry, Mohammad Javad Zarif, nuclear weapons, uranium enrichment