Already lost in translation: #Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal

4 Apr

Iran and the P5+1. Image source: wikipedia

Its the third day since the draft framework agreement was signed in Lausanne, and there are already disputes regarding what the deal entails.

In an interview with the Tehran based Tasnim news agency, Abbas Araghchi a senior member of Iran’s negotiation team states:

A senior Iranian negotiator involved in the nuclear talks with six world powers rejected the US claims about the ‘suspension’ of sanctions after a possible final accord, saying that all the embargoes related to the nuclear issue will be lifted at once.

Now lets look at the State Department’s copy of the parameters of the Lausanne agreement and what it says about this specific issue:

U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

Some people in Iran are under the impression that all U.S and EU nuclear related sanctions are to be removed. This view has also partially been endorsed by Iran’s chief negotiator, foreign minister Javad Zarif on twitter.

This view is wrong.

The US state Department should translate the text of the agreement on their site into Persian, so that the Iranian public are left with no doubt as to what has been agreed and what has not been agreed.

#Iran framework agreement is good for #Israel

2 Apr

Tonight, history may have been made.

I say maybe, because what has just been agreed is a framework deal. Its not the final deal. All the final details of the final deal still have to be worked out by the end of June this year. And things could still go wrong.  So lets wait and see.

But looking at the details of the agreed framework deal tonight , this definitely looks like a good framework deal for the security of the state of Israel.

There are many reasons, but here is just one of them.

Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country.

Lets see what the final deal will look like. But there is reason to be optimistic.

I will write a more detailed article tomorrow.

#Irantalks: anxiously waiting in Tehran

1 Apr

When it comes to Iran, I have never seen anything like it.

Since the current round of nuclear talks started, I, alongside other Iran observers have been seeing a very interesting phenomenon on Twitter and Facebook.

It seems that the entire country is on hold, waiting with bated breath to see what the results of the nuclear negotiations will be.

It’s not surprising. Sanctions are really hurting the economy. The regime has not been able to find a solution to reduce their impact. The Supreme Leader’s “resistance economy” has turned out to be nothing more than yet another slogan.

The real conspirators sabotaging a possible #Iran nuclear deal

31 Mar

Some say its Netanyahu.

Others say it’s the Republican party.

Another group believes it’s the hard liners in Iran.


But I think I have found THE real conspirators who have THE biggest interest in the talks continuing in Switzerland, without reaching any concrete results.

Who? The Swiss Hotel Association. Who else?

Think about it: they must be making millions from the ongoing negotiations between Iran and the P5+1.

Their hotel rooms must be sold out. Restaurants full to the brim. Their hotels getting incredible publicity.

Why would they want the nuclear negotiations to end?

Talk about enrichment!

Of course unlike Iran’s enrichment, this one actually makes money :-)

#Hamas and #Iran growing apart, again

30 Mar

The Hamas logo. Source.

For many years, Hamas and Iran were close. The Iranian regime supported Hamas and was proud of it. And Hamas was proud of being aligned with the regime in Tehran.

Then came the civil war in Syria.

Hamas as a Sunni organization could not support Iran’s position in that war. Iran was backing the Alawite Assad regime, who carried out massacres and ethnic cleansing of Sunnis in different part of Syria. Hamas eventually broke ranks with Assad and the Iranian regime over their policies in Syria.

However recently, especially after the recent Israel – Hamas war, Hamas and Iran slowly but surely tried to repair their relations.

But, it seems that once again, their relations could suffer yet another blow.

According to YNET:

Hamas took a significant risk on Saturday, when it released a message of support for ousted the Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, and as a consequence its support for the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi rebels, Iran’s allies, who have captured massive parts of the country and brought down the Sunni regime.

Hamas already supported the opposite side to Tehran in the Syrian civil war. Its now doing it again in Yemen. This will not go down well in Tehran.

ICYMI: Netanyahu reverses #Israel stance re: #Iran enrichment

27 Mar

A positive move by the Prime Minister which is likely to strengthen Israel’s position.

Israel’s policy has always been that Iran must not be allowed to retain any enrichment capacity. Zero enrichment, zero centrifuges.

In fact this was one of the linchpins of Netanyahu’s speech before the Congress. One of the main reasons why he lambasted the negotiations was because they would allow Iran to have limited enrichment capacity on its soil.

However, two days after his election as Prime Minister, in an interview with MSNBC, Netanyahu suddenly changed course.

According to the JTA, quoting the MSNBC interview:

In the MSNBC interview, however, he made a significant concession, saying Israel could tolerate a limited uranium enrichment capacity for Iran, although with a number lower than the 6,500 reported to be part of an emerging deal.

“A smaller number is something Israel and its Arab neighbors wouldn’t love but could live with,” he said.

By the look of things, not only Netanyahu’s Congress speech failed to convince any Congressmen to change their mind regarding the Iran deal, but as it turns out the only person who seems to have changed their stance towards the Iran negotiations since then is Prime Minister Netanyahu himself.

Welcome to the world of Realpolitik Mr Netanyahu. No one wants the Iranian regime to have nuclear weapons. But your zero enrichment demand was so unrealistic that it hurt  Israel’s credibility.

And no, limited enrichment capacity under tough inspections will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons as soon as it chooses. Robert Einhorn, one of the world’s foremost experts in this subject explains succinctly why in this op-ed.

For for the record, your truly and Brigadier General Shlomo Brom were the first Israeli specialists of this topic to have the guts to go on the record as far back as in October 2012 to state that Israel could live with limited enrichment on Iranian soil. This was not an easy statement for two Israelis to make as back then Ahmadinejad was still in office and we  were still being subjected to his vicious anti-Israel rhetoric.

Will Yemen split up again?

25 Mar

The situation in Yemen is deteriorating. The Shia Houthi rebels are making advances in their battle

The flag of Yemen

against the elected Sunni president Abd Rabbu Hadi.

The Financial Times interviewed its Persian Gulf correspondent Simeon Kerr about the conflict.

One of the things he addresses is how some Yemenis are discussing the idea of Yemen splitting up again, to North and South, as was the case until 1990. Until then there was North and the Communist South Yemen.

Today’s warring factions are mainly the Sunnis and the Zaidi Shia. The Sunni side, which are Saudi backed are mainly concentrated in the South of Yemen. The Zaidi Shia reportedly supported by Iran are based in the North.

So if Yemen is going to split again, this time instead of using geographical terms (North and South) why not become franchised. Something like “Saudi Yemen” and “Iranian Yemen”. Just a thought.

You can listen to the entire 7 minutes podcast here


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