The Iranians have banked U.S. concessions, while disputing purported U.S. achievements.
I have fallen into the trap almost everyone has, in referring to an Iran “nuke deal” and “Framework deal.”
Based on what the White House has revealed, the “deal” is a very bad deal, as we have explored here repeatedly: It purports to give Iran its dual goals of maintaining and improving its nuclear infrastructure while removing sanctions and ensuring the economic viability of the oppressive Mullah regime.
But it’s even worse. Based upon statements made after the initial announcements, it’s clear that there is no deal, just enough vague verbiage to allow each side to portray the “deal” however it wants. There is no meeting of minds, not binding contract, nothing.
This was revealed initially in tweets by the Iranian Foreign Minister disputed White House “spin” on the “deal,” insisting that sanctions would be lifted immediately, and crowing that Iran’s enrichment would continue.
Since then, the divergence has grown, The Times of Israel reports:
In a televised address on state TV, [Iranian Foreign Minister and negotiator) Zarif said that Iran “stood up to the six powers who call themselves the international community,” proving that the people of Iran cannot be spoken to “with the language of force and sanctions.”
“They didn’t design sanctions to bring us to the negotiating table, but to force us to surrender,” Zarif said, adding that the world now recognized that Iran cannot be cowed.
Zarif charged that under the deal, Iran would have “full nuclear rights, [and] only limited certain restrictions for a certain number of years; we have enrichment and we will continue to enrich uranium.”
In remarks that underscored the emerging gaps between Iran and the world powers in terms of how the agreement is understood, Zarif disputed US statements that the lifting of sanctions would be in phases.
“The termination of sanctions is directly tied to the implementation of a final deal [due to be penned by June 30]. On the day of the implementation of a deal… the US will terminate oil, financial, bank sanctions. We are terminating United Nations Security Council resolutions without any intermittent suspension. It will be direct termination,” he said.
Similarly, he asserted that Iran, under the deal, has the right to continue working on more advanced IR-8 centrifuges, which can enrich uranium 20 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges it currently uses. “Some said Iran can have no R&D, but we now have the right to develop IR-8, which has 20x output of IR-1,” he claimed.
The Guardian reports that Iran rejects the White House fact sheet on the “deal”:
[Tehran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif] disputed a “fact sheet” released by the US shortly after the deal that emphasised Iranian concessions and referred to sanctions being suspended rather than lifted and only after confirmation that Tehran has complied with the terms of the agreement.
“The Americans put what they wanted in the fact sheet … I even protested this issue with [US secretary of state John] Kerry himself,” he said in a television interview cited by the Fars news agency, adding that the UN security council would oversee any deal.
The NY Times reports, Outline of Iran Nuclear Deal Sounds Different From Each Side:
Negotiators at the nuclear talks in Switzerland emerged from marathon talks on Thursday with a surprisingly detailed outline of the agreement they now must work to finalize by the end of June.
But one problem is that there are two versions….
A careful review shows that there is considerable overlap between the two accounts, but also some noteworthy differences — which have raised the question of whether the two sides are entirely on the same page, especially on the question of how quickly sanctions are to be removed. The American and Iranian statements also do not clarify some critical issues, such as precisely what sort of research Iran will be allowed to undertake on advanced centrifuges during the first 10 years of the accord.
Amir Taheri writing in The NY Post points out that Iran’s Persian statement on ‘deal’ contradicts Obama’s claims:
All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner.
First, we have a joint statement in English in 291 words by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy point-woman Federica Mogherini, who led the so-called P5+1 group of nations including the US in the negotiations.
Next we have the official Iranian text, in Persian, which runs into 512 words. The text put out by the French comes with 231 words. The prize for “spinner-in-chief” goes to US Secretary of State John Kerry who has put out a text in 1,318 words and acts as if we have a done deal.
It is not only in their length that the texts differ.
They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives.
The Mogherini and French texts are vague enough to be ultimately meaningless, even as spin.
The Persian text carefully avoids words that might give the impression that anything has been agreed by the Iranian side or that the Islamic Republic has offered any concessions.
The Iranian text is labelled as a press statement only. The American text, however, pretends to enumerate “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” and claims key points have been “decided.” What remains to be done is work out “implementation details.”
Ehud Ya’ari, Middle East analyst for Israel’s Channel 2 News and an international fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, has identified six major discrepancies:
Two days after the US-led powers and Iran hailed a historic framework understanding designed to ensure Iran’s nuclear program not enable it to build nuclear weapons, a leading Israeli analyst on Saturday highlighted six gaping areas of discrepancy between American and Iranian accounts of what the agreement actually entails.
Ehud Ya’ari, Middle East analyst for Israel’s Channel 2 News and an international fellow at the Washington Institute think tank, said the six discrepancies represent “very serious gaps” at the heart of the framework accord. They relate to issues as basic as when sanctions will be lifted, and how long restrictions on uranium enrichment will remain in place.
Referring to Thursday’s American-issued “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” on the one hand, and the “fact sheet” issued Friday by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, on the other, Ya’ari noted that no deal was actually signed on Thursday, and that the leaders’ statements and the competing fact sheets were thus critical to understanding what had been agreed.
The six areas of discrepancy are: Sanctions relief, Enrichment, Development of Centrifuges at the underground Fordo facility, Inspections, Shipping previously enriched Uranium out of the Country, and defining “Possible Military Dimensions” of the Iranian program.
In other words, almost every major achievement touted by the White House is disputed based on Iranian statements.
This is all a political hoax, in which the Iranians have banked U.S. concessions, while disputing purported U.S. achievements.
There is no “deal” only U.S. concessions, which will lead to more concessions if a real agreement is to be signed.
Meanwhile, the White House and Democrats are setting up Bibi Netanyahu as the fall guy if the “deal” falls apart:
The White House said Friday that there is no convincing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the merits of a nuclear deal with Iran and that the Israeli leader has been fiercely opposed to the diplomatic track even before the first interim agreement was reached in November 2013
“I think that we’re not going to convince Prime Minister Netanyahu. Frankly, he has disagreed with this approach since before the first Joint Plan of Action, the first interim agreement that was reached with Iran,” said Ben Rhodes, US President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser. The White House official was speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
UPDATE 4-7-2015: It’s even worse than initially thought, French fact sheet differs from US on Iran’s centrifuge use, R&D
A French government fact sheet on the Iran framework deal, which has not been made public by Paris but which has been seen by The Times of Israel, provides for Iran to gradually introduce the use of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium after 12 years, in contrast to the US official parameters, which make no such specific provision
The use of the more advanced IR-2 and IR-4 centrifuges, as permitted according to the French fact sheet, would enable Iran to more rapidly accumulate the highly enriched uranium needed to build nuclear weapons, accelerating its breakout time to the bomb.
The French fact sheet also specifies that Iran will be allowed to continue R&D work on the advanced IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges, the last of which can enrich uranium at 20-times the speed of Iran’s current IR-1 centrifuges, whereas the American parameters are less specific.
Differences between the texts issued by Paris and Washington also extend to the question of inspection and supervision of Iran’s activities, with the French document indicating that the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will be able to visit any suspect site in Iran — so-called “anywhere, anytime” access — whereas the US document is less far-reaching.
The two documents also differ in their terminology as regards the scale and timing of sanctions relief as the deal takes effect.