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As Deal Nears, Iranian Journalist Covering Nuclear Talks Defects

As Deal Nears, Iranian Journalist Covering Nuclear Talks Defects

‘U.S. Negotiating Team Mainly There to Speak on Iran’s Behalf’

A vague, unwritten Iran deal may soon be hammered out as talks continue this weekend in Switzerland.  Reuters reports

Iran and six major powers were exploring possible compromises to break an impasse in nuclear negotiations on Sunday, but officials cautioned they were unable to move on several sticking points.

The news came as Israel said the details of a possible agreement emerging from talks in Lausanne, Switzerland were worse than it feared.

In a significant development in talks aimed at securing a preliminary nuclear deal, several officials told Reuters Tehran had indicated a willingness to accept fewer than 6,000 nuclear centrifuges and to send most of its enriched uranium stockpiles for storage in Russia.

Western powers, on the other hand, were considering the idea of allowing Iran to conduct limited, closely-monitored enrichment-related work for medical purposes at an underground facility called Fordow, the officials added on condition of anonymity.

Iran had originally insisted on keeping in operation the nearly 10,000 centrifuges it currently uses, but said in November that Washington indicated it could accept around 6,000. Iranian officials say they had been pushing for 6,500-7,000.

The officials said all parts of an emerging nuclear deal were interrelated.

“Everything could still fall apart,” a Western official told Reuters, adding that the talks could drag on to Tuesday, the self-imposed deadline for a framework agreement.

According to The Telegraph, a pro-Rouhani Iranian journalist covering the P5 + 1 talks has sought asylum in Switzerland following frustration that he “could only write what he is told”:

A close media aide to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has sought political asylum in Switzerland after travelling to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West.

Amir Hossein Motaghi, who managed public relations for Mr Rouhani during his 2013 election campaign, was said by Iranian news agencies to have quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA).

He then appeared on an opposition television channel based in London to say he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told.

“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.

“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.” Mr Mottaghi was a journalist and commentator who went on to use social media successfully to promote Mr Rouhani to a youthful audience that overwhelmingly elected him to power.

President Obama has recently been criticized for appearing to place his legacy above national security.  According to The Telegraph, Mottaghi, the U. S. negotiators are pushing hard for a deal and are, in his estimation, speaking on Iran’s behalf.

In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

Ruptly, a German news agency, reports that the “Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was positive about the P5+1 international talks on Iran’s nuclear programme, held in Lausanne, Saturday, stating that those involved were coming closer to an agreement on the topic”:



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It would be nice to hear some person present at the “negotiations” confirm the defector’s story.

    Barry in reply to Rick. | March 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Actually, if you were paying attention, you would find this defector was confirming the reports by those concerned about the negotiations.

      Rick in reply to Barry. | March 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks for your courteous and informative response, Barry. My research is obviously inadequate, for I have not been able to find a reference to someone who actually heard what the defector said was said. Maybe you could pass that along.

        Barry in reply to Rick. | March 29, 2015 at 6:22 pm

        Guess I should have put a smiley face on it for you Rick.
        The point, was the defectors comments comport with reports from some of the critics of the Obama negotiation team. Some have inside information but will not reveal direct sources. I have no need to list all of those for you as they have been in the “news” frequently, thus the “paying attention” part of my comment.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | March 29, 2015 at 6:40 pm

          It’s ostrich philosophy – if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.

          Rick in reply to Barry. | March 29, 2015 at 6:57 pm

          From what I have found so far, the defector’s statement is his “estimation.”
          “According to The Telegraph, Mottaghi, the U. S. negotiators are pushing hard for a deal and are, in his estimation, speaking on Iran’s behalf.”
          I am as prone as anyone to have a negative view of everything obama or his people say or do. It just seems to me that a lot of publicity is being given to an “estimation” by a deserter, and that the estimation is being treated as a fact.
          After all of this, no one has produced a statement by anyone, from any of the counties’ teams, that says what this deserter estimates.
          Nevertheless, I would not be surprised for the “estimate” to be accurate.

    Barry in reply to Rick. | March 29, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Rick, you used the proper term in your first comment, defector. Not deserter. Also, my response was to your reference to the “defector’s story”, not just the single line “speaking on Iran’s behalf”. Maybe I just missed what you were looking for.

      I don’t know which is more scary, Obama giving Iran an atomic bomb, or Rick.

      Rick in reply to Barry. | March 29, 2015 at 10:35 pm

      My point is, was, that it would be nice to have confirmation. Single sourcing is not as good as multiple sourcing. Also, it did not appear that this person had personal knowledge of what he was saying. It was re-reading his comment, in response to your response, that led me to see that even he referred to what he was saying as his “estimation.”
      I would like to use this “fact” in arguments against obama, but I would be more comfortable in that regard to have at least one source with personal knowledge.

        Barry in reply to Rick. | March 29, 2015 at 11:03 pm

        “…but I would be more comfortable in that regard to have at least one source with personal knowledge.”

        Rick, how about Israel? Or the French? Both have expressed outright frustration with the deal being “worked” by Obambi.

        Maybe I don’t understand what you are looking for: You want another individual that will say this is a bad deal, or someone saying we (the USA) are representing Iran in the talks? “Bad deal” speakers abound. I don’t think anyone of importance is going to accuse obambi of representing Iran. That would confound the art of diplomacy, which even the Israeli’s adhere to.

        OTOH, reading between the lines, it’s easy to see we are on the side of Iran. Spit.

          Rick in reply to Barry. | March 29, 2015 at 11:59 pm

          Yes, we are on the same side on this.
          Yes, all indications are that we are headed for a horrible “deal” for America, assuming it is a deal.
          Yes, it could be said generally that obama and his team are working to benefit Iran at America’s expense.
          None of that is new.
          What sounded to me like news was that obama’s team “was speaking on Iran’s behalf.” I would have liked to see or read about someone saying that who actually heard someone on obama’s team doing exactly that, someone with personal knowledge.
          It would have been nice to hear someone with personal knowledge confirm the defector’s story. I have a hard time understanding why that is controversial.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | March 30, 2015 at 12:41 am

          I think it is misreading or misunderstanding your original statement 🙁

          Rick in reply to Barry. | March 30, 2015 at 12:55 am

          We are good.
          Best to you.

DINORightMarie | March 29, 2015 at 12:52 pm

This is so scary to me.

The Senate is the only way to stop this…….

But under spineless, mush-mouth McConnell, will they even try?!

    Subotai Bahadur in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    Why would McConnell do anything to oppose Obama? He hasn’t for the last 6+years.

    In the next couple of years, there is going to be a nuclear war. The odds are, we are going to be part of it. . . on the receiving end.

      I’m not totally sure, but I think many Democrats are concerned about what is taking place. I keep hoping there is a breaking point for true Americans and have almost given up hope. This comes from the blog (Schumer almost certainly will replace Reid as Minority Leader):

      “On Thursday, Schumer announced that he would sign on to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R – Tenn.) and Robert Menendez (D – N.J.), as a co-sponsor.

      The Algemeiner reported:

      [The bill] stipulates that President Barack Obama must submit the text of a nuclear pact to Congress within five days of a deal being reached. The legislation also prohibits the president from suspending, waiving, or reducing Congressional sanctions against Iran for 60 days. Schumer had already publicly supported the Corker-Menendez oversight bill before officially announcing his cosponsorship on Thursday.

      “We must do everything to prevent a nuclear Iran and so any potential agreement must prevent Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon,” Schumer said in a statement. “Congress played a lead role in crafting the tough-and-effective sanctions regime that brought Iran to the table, and Congress should have a role on how those sanctions are altered in any final agreement with Iran. That’s why I strongly support this legislation, which will give Congress the ability to weigh in on any potential Iran deal. This issue is far too important—for the United States, for Israel, for the entire Middle East—for Congress not to have any ability to review a nuclear deal with Iran.”

        Subotai Bahadur in reply to gasper. | March 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

        “On Thursday, Schumer announced that he would sign on to the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R – Tenn.) and Robert Menendez (D – N.J.), as a co-sponsor.

        Charles Schumer has not had a non-political/non-self serving thought since he was a pup and still quivering with fear from the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite that wiped out the dinosaurs and gave the rodent-like members of his family supremacy on earth. Nor is he known for telling the truth.

        1) The Democrat Party is the prime practitioner in the world of Lenin’s doctrine of “Democratic Centralism”. Decisions will be made by a small cadre at the top, “democratically”, and all below are mandated to follow them or else.

        2) This is a vote that Obama will not accept a loss on. The only bill the White House has indicated that it would possibly accept is one proposed by Barbara Boxer that would require the president to certify that Iran is in compliance, with no Congressional oversight or ability to reject the deal.

        3) Schumer does want to be Minority Leader, and that will not be allowed if he opposes Obama on an issue this big, especially if Obama loses.

        4) Schumer’s relationship with the truth is at best long distance, and he could easily withdraw his sponsorship and vote/lobby against the bill.

        5) Some aspects of this apply to all Democrat Senators. How many times have they pretended to be a member of the now extinct Blue Dogs, and then voted with the Left?

        6) The kicker is that there are at least a half dozen “Republicans” who can be considered likely to vote with the Democrats on any issue.

        7) Short form, no Democrat will break ranks in the end, and the Republicans likely will. There will be no consequences for any Republican who breaks ranks. Consequences are only for Conservatives under this leadership.

          I think Israel is a totally different kind of animal. This is not a social issue or a budget issue – it is a security issue, and a serious one. Everything you say is likely because past events make it seem so, but I think this will be gut check time for many in both houses. It will be beyond interesting to see what develops. We live in dangerous times, with dangerous people leading us, and we have Boehner and McConnell on our side. God help us, and God give these two weaklings courage – for once.

      Ragspierre in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | March 29, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      “He hasn’t for the last 6+years.”

      That simply is not true. He hasn’t enough. But he HAS done some.

Midwest Rhino | March 29, 2015 at 1:27 pm

“Ruptly, a German news agency”

Well, they are spawned from RT, Russia Today. They give alternative views worth listening to at times, but I’d estimate they are even more dishonest and biased for Russia, than our MSM is for Democrats.

To call them German is misleading, which is what they probably intend.

“. . . he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told.” Well, we have that problem too, but our gang is eager and willing to please the master.