U.S. Demands of Iran Threaten to Scuttle Nuclear Talks Before They Begin
The NY Times reports that the U.S. “demands” it will make of Iran in the upcoming round of negotiation:
The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain, according to American and European diplomats.
They are also calling for a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and the shipment of existing stockpiles of that fuel out of the country, the diplomats said.
First thing to note, successful negotiations don’t usually begin with one side making demands of the other. Second, the U.S. position dooms the talks before they begin. Not only is there is no way on earth Iran will agree to any of them, it won’t even take the demands seriously. Since its government knows how this game is played it will invent outrageous demands of its own, the talks will fail, everyone will go home, and the extremists on both sides will say they tried and now let whatever happens happens. And “whatever” will undoubtedly be an armed confrontation of some kind.
But what is even more interesting to me about all this is an interview Bibi gave in today’s Yisrael HaYom, one of those fluff pieces in which the PM gets to crow about all his achievements and the interviewer allows the “Elder Statesman” to bask in his glory. In it, he revealed that the Israeli demands regarding Iran are exactly the same as Obama’s. So if anyone thought the U.S. and Israel might have a different take on Iran, that we might be more flexible or pragmatic than the Israelis–think again. We’re being led by the nose by the Israelis. Either that, or we’re happy to take their lead and let the chips fall where they may.
Here’s what Bibi said:
The way to confront this strategy of Iran’s [stalling and exploiting divisions among its adversaries] is to demand explicit conditions calling for ceasing all uranium enrichment, removal of all enrich uranium from the country, and its exchange for material which cannot be develop nuclear weapons, and agreement to give up the underground facility in Qom [Fordo]. These are demands which, if achieved, can show we’ve achieved something. This will be the point of the deliberation over the coming weeks. It must be an aggressive stance with clear demands so that sanctions will really be able to make an impact.
David Sanger seems to live in a journalist world of magic realism in which there are Iranians who somehow see the wisdom in the President’s position and who will talk sense to the Ayatollah, allowing everything to be resolved peacefully and amiably. How else to explain this bit of wish-fulfillment:
Still, Mr. Obama and his allies are gambling that crushing sanctions and the threat of Israeli military action will bolster the arguments of those Iranians who say a negotiated settlement is far preferable to isolation and more financial hardship.
What he really means to say is that there are Iranians who would actually argue that the country should capitulate to the west and give up one of its singular national projects around which every element of Iran’s society is united.
Not to be outdone, the Obama administration seems also to live in this land of magical realism:
“We have no idea how the Iranians will react,” one senior administration official said. “We probably won’t know after the first meeting.”
Sure you do. You know perfectly well how they’d react because if you were them you’d react the same way. You’d laugh yourself silly if you weren’t overwhelmed by the sheer tragedy of the charade.
Sanger continues to prove himself a willing water carrier for the anti-Iran hawks, here peddling a story nowhere supported by any reliable evidence:
The shift has underscored doubts among Obama administration officials and their European partners about Iran’s readiness to negotiate seriously and to finally answer questions from international nuclear inspectors about its program’s “possible military dimensions.” Those questions are based in part on evidence that Iran may have worked on warhead designs and nuclear triggers.
The so-called “evidence” regarding warheads and triggers goes back five or six years ago to forged documents the MEK claimed to have procured from the Iran nuclear program, but which turned out to be fakes and which were peddled to willing journalists at the Times of London by the Mossad. Notice, Sanger doesn’t offer any proof, explanation or source for the “evidence.” He merely states it as if doing so should be enough to confer credibility on it. Sorry, but we’ve been down this road before. Judy Miller and other over-eager reporters took us there. We’re not going again. At least not willingly.
Sanger further tells us that Iran can enrich uranium from 20% purity to “weapons grade” in a number of months. This is a highly dubious claim. Besides which, even if Iran has enough fuel it still needs a vehicle, a warhead, a trigger, and numerous other features necessary to fire a weapon. Even the most hawkish analysts says that Iran is more than a year away from this, with most saying it is two or three years away. Not to mention that later in the same story, Sanger concedes that sanctions may be effective enough to frustrate Iran’s plans to enrich enough uranium to make a weapon.
- Iran lawmaker: Country can produce nuclear weapons (newsday.com)
25 thoughts on “U.S. Demands of Iran Threaten to Scuttle Nuclear Talks Before They Begin – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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You wrote that: “the so-called “evidence” regarding warheads and triggers goes back five or six years ago to forged documents..”
There is, however, a report from the IAEA with respect to warheads that was produced in 2010.
The Guardian covered it in this article:
Iran could be making nuclear warhead, says director of UN watchdog
Yes & I could be a space alien.
Iran could be making a nuclear warhead and I could be the Bishop of Rome.
Aren’t you a bishop of Rome of alraedy?
I am if you’re Humpty Dumpty.
The former IAEA head laughed out loud at this “evidence” from the Laptop of Death that the US has never turned over to the IAEA. Anyway fyi Iran has already offered to cease 20% enrichment and would not have had to start it if the US had not prevented Iran from simply just buying the necessary fuel for the Tehran Reactor that makes medical isotopes for treating Iran’s 850,000 cancer patients. Note that this is a totally monitored reactor that simply cannot be used to make bombs since it is far too small. In fact the US gave this reactor to Iran in the first place. So the US says Iran can’t buy the fuel and can’t make the fuel either, and those 850,000 cancer patient can droo dead, nevermind Iran’s rights under the NPT. Furthermore, Iran isn’t allowed to build a bomb proof shelter for its centrifuges since that makes it harder for us to bomb their IAEA-monitored nuclear program. The fact is that the US has at evrry turn made it impossible to resolve this dispute peacefully and has a long history of ignori.g or actively undermining peaceful solutions because the “Iran nuclear threat” is just a pretext for imposing regime change, just like “WMDs in Iraq” was a pretext. The last thing the US wants is to resolve this issue with the regime still in power.
Yes, one needs 20% enrichment of uranium to U-235, or 850,000 Iranian cancer patients will die. I was unaware that uranium, enriched to 0.01% or 95%, is used in cancer treatment.
But this is all missing the point. Iran’s designs aren’t on Israel. Iran knows that if they were to attack or threaten Israel, it would be the end of life in Iran as we know it.
What Iran wants nukes for is to threaten Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and the Emirates, none of which is exactly pro-Israel.
Iran desires a nuclear capability as deterrence. It inoculates the Mullah’s from foreign attempts at regime change or attacking the country. Beyond that nuclear armaments are problematic and of little utility, besides the immense expense.
There is zero evidence that Iran wants nukes, nor would starting a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf benefit Iran.
I said “capability,” meaning the knowledge and means to build nuclear armaments should the Iranians decide such are necessary. I’ve said elsewhere Iran desires the same status under the NPT that Japan, Brazil and other states enjoy.
What the P5-plus-1 group are primarily concerned about is how far along the Iranians are in acquiring the knowledge to build a nuclear arsenal, which Iranians for their own reasons have not been very cooperative and open about.
As far as uranium enrichment is concerned they have won that argument. A fait accompli the US and its allies, excepting Israel are going to accept regardless of the jingoism, threats, and political rhetoric from either side during the current negotiations.
The US redline is not a nuclear “capable” Iran. Its a nuclear armed Iran, which Obama has recently made crystal clear to the great ire and grief of the Israelis. The stumbling block is clarity, and though Ayatollah Khamenei has forsworn an Iranian nuclear armament, promises just aren’t going to cut it.
Yes, deterrence of what the Revolutionary Guard might consider “excessive” Saudi and Kuwaiti oil production.
Iran has already made some noise about the Saudi’s increasing oil production to offset Iranian cuts due to the embargo by the west. Despite their threats, prices of WTI have recently fallen to $100 from $109 at their peak. They will probably fall further if Hugo Chavez dies or becomes too incapacited to exert his dictatorial rule over Venezuela.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on earth. Much of that oil is too heavy to be conventionally refined, but new techniques will all much more to be made into gasoline and heating oil than even a few years ago. Chavez has kept a tight lid on Venezuelan oil production. His successors, whoever they are, will have other ideas.
@Joe: Iran has already made some noise about the Saudi’s increasing oil production to offset Iranian cuts due to the embargo by the west.
This is so funny. Don’t you get it?? When the US was leading up to bombing the livin’ beejeesus out of Saddam, it was Iran who was stirring the pot, profiting on an embargo by increasing oil production, and making out like a bandit. Now that Iran is in the bullseye, they are moaning about Saudi. I am on the floor laughing.
Of course, until Saudi becomes the next bullseye, it is the big winner all the way around. Oil prices go up, Saudi market share goes up, and the West starts handing them all sorts of deadly toys to defend themselves. For instance, it is now confirmed that the UK has delivered the MBDA Storm Shadow cruise missile armed w/ bunker-busters, in violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime.
For Americans who are neither oil consumers nor taxpayers — i.e. K-12 students, prison inmates, the homeless — none of this has any impact. For everyone else, it’s another turn of the screw.
The NYT’s piece is 99.99% Zionist hasbura.
No one is expecting a grand bargain to emerge from the next round of negotiations, or for that matter do these NYT’s tweeds know exactly what the 5 plus 1 negotiators are going to demand, or not demand of Iran.
Sanger and Erlanger betray their ire when they allude to the fact they have no idea what Erdogan conveyed to Kamenei on behalf of Obama, who has been deliberately disingenuous regarding his posture on Iran by being on all sides of the Iranian issue.
As for Netanyahu, no one in the world burns his ass more than Obama. The last thing these two do is see eye to eye on anything.
These NYT’s barking dogs are merely trying to paint a picture of failure they hope may influence the outcome of the negotiations. Beyond that they know no more than any other person who has read or heard official statements by the US government.
I suggest you do not open your mouth, or type on your computer, about anything, unless you have done your homework. I know this is a “free” country and you can say and write whatever you like, but for your own sake, in order to prevent making an ass of yourself and abusing your “freedom,” read a bit before succumbing to propaganda.
The 20% enriched uranium is the necessary fuel for Tehran Research Reactor. The reactor, designed by the U.S. in 1967 and later modified by Argentina in 1992, requires as its fuel 20% enriched uranium. It is the reactor that produces the isotopes for the 850,000 patients. The uranium is not used with the patients.
I hope you will never need such isotopes, but if you ever did, then I hope you would feel guilty as hell for your nonsense here.
So, if you want to be a propagandist of any sort, at least be an informed one!!
We got it now, you are well informed propagandist for Iranian mullah’s regime. Perhaps with the timeline of reactor, you might even give out the details of the reactor’s design as well.
Muhammad and his family were victims of this regime. One of his brothers was killed by it. You’re despicable.
Oh ,now you know muhammad personally?
That’s convenient.Who would’ve guessed that?
A Primer on Iran’s Medical Reactor
It is very informative indeed.
The shape of a “breakthrough” deal with Iran is obvious, even if nobody wants to discuss it.
It comes down to this:
1) Iran (rightly) wants to stockpile 20% uranium for the Tehran Research Reactor, precisely because (rightly or wrongly) “the west” refuses to supply Iran with that fuel.
2) “the West” (rightly) fears that if Iran has a LARGE ENOUGH stockpile of 20% uranium then it can contemplate a “dash to weapons-grade” that will give it a nuke before anyone can react.
Negotiations should therefore aim to come up with a value for that 20% stockpile that is:
a) Sufficient to keep the TRR in operation, but is
b) INsufficient for a “dash to weapons-grade”
If the two sides can agree on that value then there is your deal, right there i.e. if Iran agrees not to stockpile any more than that then “the West” agrees that such a stockpile is perfectly kosher.
That article in armscontrolwonk tells you how much uranium is required for the TRR (around 32kg for a year’s use).
What it doesn’t tell you is the other side of the equation i.e. how much 20% uranium is needed if you wanted to reprocess it into a warhead.
32kg sounds like much too little to me, but I don’t know what would be the “right” number.
Iranians can enrich uranium to 20%, which means they can ultimately enrich to weapons grade, if they aren’t already capable of doing that now.
rfjk: “Iranians can enrich uranium to 20%, which means they can ultimately enrich to weapons grade”
This is a fact: I can take a lump of coal and squeeze it in my hands until my palms turn black.
Q: Does that mean I can make diamonds from that coal?
A: No, it means I can squeeze coal until my hands turn black.
This is also a fact: Iran can take 3% enriched uranium and reprocess it to 20%.
Q: Does that mean Iran can make weapons-grade uranium?
A: No, it means that Iran can reprocess to 20%, which ain’t “weapons-grade”.
The centrifuges are configured in such a way that they can only enrich to 20%, and adding MORE centrifuges only means that Iran can produce MORE 20% uranium.
The Iranians have to totally reconfigure their centrifuge cascades if they want to enrich to 90%, and They Can’t Do That Without The IAEA Noticing.
So the secret is to make it worth their while to keep those cascades as they are, not to threaten that they must dismantle those cascades Or Else We Will Bomb The Bejeezus Outta Ya.
The latter simply sends the wrong message to the Iranians (i.e. “We’re comin’ to get ya!!!!!”), which is all rather self-defeating unless, of course, the West is simply looking for an excuse to go all Bombs Away!!!! on Tehran.
Its been widely reported in the media (not just solely by rabid Zionist front groups) that “uranium enriched to 20 percent represents most of the technical effort needed to attain the 90 percent threshold required for nuclear explosions.” There are a few analysts who doubt Iranian claims regarding their nuclear progam, but they have decidedly been in the minority as of late.
It’s also interesting that the other EU states in the “P5 plus 1” have lately become more bellicose than the US regarding Iranian enrichment. The big surprise is Russia. Vladimir Putin has recently made a strong statement that: “We’re not interested in Iran becoming a nuclear power…it would lead to greater risks to international stability.” That followed on a statement by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov that progress made by Iran’s nuclear program is; “more alarming for Russia than for many other countries.”
I claim no special talents at analysis or expert status. Its my impression from what I have read that the argument over Iran’s nuclear program has now evolved beyond enrichment, which is a forgone conclusion, to whether the Iranians have attained or on the verge of a “break out capacity” in building a nuclear arsenal. This of course doesn’t mean they are going to build nukes, but that they have attained the scientific and material means to do so that alarms the P5 plus 1 states
In any case this is exactly what some Iranian officials are claiming, and I have learned to give greater veracity to Iranian statements than I do to US or Russian declarations. Having said that, its also true the Iranians aren’t angels either, or deserving of uncritical accolades and the near hero worship some indulge in.
Furthermore, I don’t believe Obama is pushing some scheme to bomb Iran, as he’s playing for time to accomplish a solution short of war. If that were his game, war, than he should have done it yesterday before the Iranians began building their nuclear facilities under mountains and the institutional knowledge and technical expertise they have attained today.
As far as I’m concerned, the only option left to the P5 plus 1 powers in preventing the Iranians from building a nuclear arsenal is diplomacy and negotiation. Its far too late for anything else, except for more serial blundering and greater strategic disasters.
In a recent interview, Israel’s new opposition leader, Gen. Saul Mofaz, told the New York Times (April 6, 2012) that Israel has bigger fish to fry than Iran’s nuclear program. He said that Benji Netanyahu is using Iran’s nuclear program to divert public attention from solving Israel’s evergrowing Palestinian problem. Mofaz said Netanyahu government’s priorities should be making peace with Palestinians, ending building illegal Jewish settlements in most of the West Bank and reducing the country’s acute economic disparity. According to 2011 survey, one out of every three Jewish children in Israel lives below poverty line.
“Let President Obama handle Iran. We can trust him,” said Mofaz, the Tehran-born Iranian Jew.
I’m sure, no friend of Palestinian people can trust Mofaz after learning his idea of “peace with Palestinians“. In November 2009, Mofaz laid out his vision of a separate Palestinian State to Uriel Heilman of Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA). Mofaz’s plan for the annihilation of the remaining native Muslim and Christian Palestinian population is no different than any other Zionist leaders.
Mofaz’s plan went like this – First establish a Palestinian state with temporary borders on 60% of the West Bank. Then in the course of 4-6 years, the two sides would negotiate the final-status issues, including permanent borders. The final deal would be put to national referendums in Israel and Palestine.
During Mofaz’s “waiting period” – no illegal Jewish settlement would be dismantled and both the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be united under a “moderate” Palestinian government – acceptable to the US and Israel ofcourse!
And after Zionists ’great offer’ becomes a reality – Jerusalem would remain united under Zionist entity’s sovereignty, the large Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank would be annexed to the Zionist entity – and the Palestinian state would be completely demilitarized.
In other words, Mofaz’s plan for the occupied Palestine is no different than Obama’s plan for the Islamic Republic – as desribed by former head of the IAEA, Dr. Mohmed ElBaradei: “The were not interested in a compromise with the government in Tehran, but regime change – by any mean necessary“. That’s No DEAL except SUBMISSION to Zionist Jews – watch-movie below.
The latest USraeli pre-conditions set on Iran’s nuclear program are so humiliating that no Iranian government would dare to submit to -fearing it being toppled by a second 1979 Islamic Revolution.
1. Israeli defense minister Gen. Ehud Barak (famous for dressing-up as a woman while working for Israeli military intelligence) has demanded that Iran must halt its 20% enrichment processing activities and transfer already enriched uranium material to a USrael trusted neighboring country, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan or Turkey. The con-Jew also demanded that Iran’s underground nuclear facility, Fordo, be extensively suprvised by IAEA officials. Since Barak (wanted for war crimes in several countries) was being interviewed by an Israeli Hasbara organ CNN – he was assured the interviewer would never ask if Israel would transfer its 400 nuclear bomb to Turkey, Pakistan or Nigeria – and open its five nuclear sites for IAEA inspections.
Later, Hillary Clinton, took her Israeli master’s demands as Washington’s pre-condition to accept Tehran’s claim that its nuclear program is not for military use – but for power-generation and medical research.
So, the bottom line is – the P5+1 warmongers want the new negotiations to fail and USrael will naturally blame the Islamic Republic for that.
“…P5+1 warmongers want the new negotiations to fail and USrael will naturally blame the Islamic Republic for that.”
For everyone’s sake I not only hope, but also believe you are dead wrong. There is no international issue more important than that the current P5+1/Iranian meeting in Istanbul closes on a more respectful outcome between the parties than threats, accusations, and stonewalling, with agreement for further negotiations in Baghdad or other places agreeable to the parties.
Should that in fact happen there will be instantaneous and great outrage from the usual suspects of maniacal Zionists, Christian (rapture artists) fundamentalists, Republicans, Netanyahu and everyone else who privately or openly wishes for war for nefarious reasons. Dialog and compromise between Iran and the P5+1 nations is not the hard part. Its prevailing against all the sub-human vermin that have done all in their powers thwarting compromise that is the gravest obstacle to peace.
Latest google search:
“…They met in a constructive atmosphere,” said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who represents the powers in dealings with Iran. “We had a positive feeling that they did want to engage….”
A “constructive atmosphere” is the first priority in establishing a modicum of trust between the parties, a vital base line for all future negotiations and compromise. Should this round of talks end on a positive note the ‘usual suspects’ will wail as if someone has ripped their guts out of them with their bare hands.