Iran Nuclear Talks Free-For-All

No deal to date, discombobulated goals and a scheme to reconvene, and meanwhile Iran continues at will with nuclear programs.  Three decades of Western sanctions coupled with vehement Israeli threats of military force against Iran are not the only tools needed if, indeed, every concerned country’s goals are to construct an agreement that will progress peace. 

 Western goals are that Iran will concede to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, dismantle advanced IR-2 centrifuges, stop the heavy water facility at Arak, institute a peaceful nuclear power program where the International Community controls the fuel cycle, and for Iran to turn over to the IC all highly enriched uranium in its possession.  Proposed in return for these concessions have been that some Iranian assets frozen in overseas banks would be thawed, and that easing bans on trade in gold, precious metals and petrochemicals would be considered.  Step back from power wielding and it doesn’t take high-level negotiators to deduce that’s not an attractive deal for Iran.  In actuality that offer is stupefying because it’s proven that Iranians are much better negotiators than the White House, as in the past they have played Obama “like a violin.”  Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, insists that all Western sanctions against Iran must be lifted.  Step back from hubris and it doesn’t take high-level negotiators to deduce that’s an attractive deal only for Iran.

 Iran dictates what the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency inspects.  Uranium enriched to 20 percent remains several steps away from weapons grade, and Iran has not admitted to operating facilities that take those several steps.  Historically and continually Iran asserts that their nuclear programs are solely for energy and medicine.  Meanwhile the IAEA jumps up and down, runs in circles, yells and screams but is not allowed access to all of Iran’s nuclear sites – such as the Gachin uranium mine on the Gulf coast, and the Parchin military facility outside of Tehran.   Current negotiations gave Iran eleven more days to hone their negotiating tools, while the West gets those days to bicker.  Unfortunately, the West is far better at bickering than negotiating, although the West may not be better at bickering than at back pedaling and vacillating. 

 A couple of days before the recent negotiations adjourned a progressive compromise with Iran was almost on the table, but then there was discord among the P5 1 with the French getting blamed for being the deal breaker.  The French say it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s concerns that jerked away the signing-pen.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reported that changes were made and then Iran wouldn’t sign.  Zarif observed that most of the negotiating hours were spent with the P5 1 attempting to solve internal differences, and pointed out that “conflicting talk doesn’t give credit.”  British Foreign Secretary William Hague stated the negotiations had “some gaps” but “most of the gaps are narrow.” 

 Since key goals of Western negotiators are to cripple and control Iran’s nuclear programs, only offering ambiguous half promises of possible lifting of sanctions for attaining those goals questions the sincerity of truly negotiating for peace.  Zarif’s insistence that all sanctions be lifted is not the posture of compromise.  Concerns from Israel having been a deal breaker is especially alarming in that Netanyahu laments an overall deal between world leaders and Iran would undercut Israel’s threats to launch military action against Iran’s nuclear sites.  While hot air blows and howls that a compromise between P5 1 and Iran is just around the next sand dune, objective study points smack in the middle of an Israeli and Iranian nuclear bomb fest. 

 Joan Brown ~ contributor