The West collapses before Iran
Prime Minister Netanyahu is spot-on about this one
He may be on to something. A week ago, most observers believed that
there was little chance that an agreement could be achieved any time
soon. But in the last 3 days, the US has made massive concessions to the
Iranians on inspections, sanctions relief, and Iran’s past nuclear
activities. These were all Iranian “redlines” that Tehran was refusing
to back down on.
No worries. It was the west doing the backing down.
Three major sticking points obstructing world powers and
Iran from making an historic nuclear deal appear to have been resolved
by their technical experts over the weekend.
The US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany reportedly have
agreed with Iran on a mechanism that would allow sanctions to snap back
into place should Tehran violate any final nuclear agreement. The six
world powers are negotiating with Iran to cap, restrict, monitor and
partially roll back its nuclear program for a finite period in exchange
for sanctions relief.
Instead of restarting automatically, a committee made up of
representatives from each nation would vote on whether sanctions should
be reimposed in the event of “significant noncompliance.”
Good luck with that. In a few months, no one is going to want
sanctions to “snap back” — especially Russia and China, who would veto
any UN attempt to reimpose sanctions on Iran.
A majority would decide the vote.
US Secretary of State John Kerry and his delegation remained largely
silent at the Imperial Hotel in Vienna through another tense day of
negotiations on Saturday, just blocks away from the Palais Coburg where
the main negotiations are taking place. Kerry and US Secretary of Energy
Earnest Moniz met with their Iranian counterparts over the weekend.
A second hurdle challenging world powers has been Iran’s reluctance
to cooperate with the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic
Energy Agency, on its investigation into the possible military
dimensions (PMD) of its nuclear program. Negotiations first began in
2013, in no small part to resolve these concerns, and the IAEA’s reports
provided a basis for sanctions resolutions out of the United Nations
IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano visited Tehran last week for talks
on the matter, as well as to negotiate the access it needs to verify
Iran’s compliance to any future deal.
His initial statement out of that meeting suggested substantial gaps
remain between his understanding of the IAEA’s needs and that of Iranian
President Hassan Rouhani.
However, Amano said on Saturday that his agency’s full PMD report may be ready by the end of the year.
“With cooperation from Iran, I think we can issue a report by the end
of the year on the assessment of the clarification of the issues
related to the possible military dimensions,” Amano said.
Iran has refused to answer virtually all of the IAEA’s questions
since 2006 when it suspended its participation with the organization’s
As for sanctions relief, here’s what Iran is saying about it in their semi-official news organ:
“On the day of the agreement, all economic and financial
sanctions by the EU, the US, and the Security Council will be removed
and we will take measures to meet commitments,” the top Iranian
negotiator said during a live program from Vienna broadcast by IRIB on
Both sides are trying to meet the July 7 deadline, but Iran is not
bound by the date, Araqchi said, adding that Tehran will not accept a
bad deal and is looking for an agreement that respects its red lines and
the Iranian nation’s rights.
What could go wrong?
Labels: Iran sanctions regime, Iranian nuclear threat, nuclear weapons, P 5+1