47 Traitors. White House snubs. A Presidential temper tantrum. Public fights with Netanyahu. Damaging international relationships with Israel. Leaked intel information.
And what do we get for all the hassle?
A vague deal that won’t even appear in writing. At least according to British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
Edward-Isaac Dovere reports at Politico:
No specifics, nothing written, perhaps not even anything that Iran and the international negotiating partners say as one—that’s the most to expect out of the nuclear talks now running up against the deadline in Switzerland, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Friday.
But even concluding this round of talks with that level of ambiguity, Hammond said, would count as a significant success. And he thinks they’ll get it.
It’s safe to say that Secretary Hammond’s definition of success is a bit different from the rest of the world.
…Hammond said no one should expect that kind of formal document.
“The challenge is: as soon as you write anything down, you’ve got to write everything down,” Hammond said.
But he said that whatever the negotiators produce should satisfy “99 percent” of people’s questions, while acknowledging that the expected looseness of the agreement opens the possibility that Secretary of State John Kerry will have a different version to talk about in Washington than Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will bring back to Tehran.
Hammond said he believes negotiators are “better than halfway” on what he estimated were six main areas of agreement. He would not specify what those are, but those watching the talks expect they will include the number of centrifuges Iran is allowed to keep, how much nuclear material it can keep, which sanctions will be lifted and when, the sunset clause that would determine how long the deal would be in effect, whether Iran’s Arak reactor will be modified, what sort of inspections and monitors will be in place to ensure Iran holds to the deal, and how much of its past weapons research it will be forced to admit.
Quite literally, absolutely nothing has been accomplished. There is no specific deal. There will be nothing for the Senate to debate, though they may insist on moving forward with sanctions, particularly in the absence of any specific deal. Kerry will tell us one story while Zarif tells Iran another.
Meanwhile, we have to take Kerry’s word that whatever he says is what was mutually agreed upon. Lucky for us, we’ll get another opportunity to have this same exact fight all over again in June when Hammond claims specifics will finally be enumerated.
An enormous amount of work went into this incredible diplomatic fail.
Follow Kemberlee Kaye on TwitterDONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.