Tag Archives: Iran and P5+1 negotiations

#Iran: a more conservative response to the draft nuclear agreement

7 Apr

Professor Mohammad Marandi


Last night I posted an Al Jazeera discussion which showed three different views from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the U.S towards the recent draft nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1.

The Iranian view was presented by Professor Zibakalam, who is a reformist.

In this clip, CCTV America has interviewed Mohammad Marandi who is more conservative. Dr Marandi has a PhD in English literature from Birmingham University and since 2005 he has been the head of the North American Studies Department, University of Tehran.

His father is close to Ayatollah Khamenei. He was the head of the medical team which oversaw the Supreme Leader’s recent Prostate operation. He is very well-connected inside the regime.

It’s an interesting interview. It’s worth watching to hear what the more conservative side of Iranian politics thinks about the recent deal.

TV debate: #Iran framework agreement- the view from Iran, Saudi Arabia and the U.S

6 Apr

So what do the people of Iran think about the latest nuclear framework agreement?

What about the Saudis? what is their view and concerns?

And the Americans?

Three persons from these three countries gave their view on Al Jazeera English.

From Iran: Sadegh Zibakalam, professor of Political Science at Tehran University.

From the US.: Michael Brooks, producer of Majority Report, a political talk and analysis show.

From Saudi Arabia: Turad El Amri, strategic analyst and chairman of the Saed Elamri Strategic Centre.

It’s definitely worth watching.

The letter by 47 Republican Senators could increase chances of an #Iran deal

12 Mar

Republican Senator Tom Cotton (above) wrote the letter to the Supreme Leader of Iran. Picture: WIkipedia

47 Republican Senators recently signed a letter which warned the supreme leader of Iran that:

any deal negotiated by the current White House could be reversed by a new president “with the stroke of a pen’’ in as little as 22 months.

In other words: Dear Mr Khamenei, if you reach a deal with the current U.S President (Obama), such a deal could be considered as meaningless to the next leader of the United States.

Many are wondering what impact this latest development could have inside Iran.

In my opinion, it could end up strengthening the voice of those inside Iran who want a deal with the U.S.

It could also increase the credibility of Obama as someone Iran could reach a deal with.

My logic goes as follows:

Inside Iran, especially to those surrounding the supreme leader, it is most probably becoming increasingly clear what massive pressure Obama is facing at home. How his rivals are trying their level best to scuttle a deal with Iran.

More importantly, it is most probably becoming clear in Tehran how Obama is fighting tooth and nail to keep the chances of a deal alive. How he is going out of his to defend the negotiations, despite the massive and unending pressure.

And this could lead to the conclusion in Iran that:

Look at Obama’s efforts. He is someone we could do business with. He is our last chance to reach a deal to end the sanctions. It’s unlikely that someone like Obama will come to power in the U.S any time soon. So it’s now or never.

Why would #Iran agree to ship its enriched uranium to #Russia?

3 Jan

Tonight it was revealed that:

Iran and the United States have tentatively agreed on a formula that Washington hopes will reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms by committing it to ship to Russia much of the material needed for such weapons, diplomats say.

The mentioned “material” is enriched uranium, produced by Iran.

This will mean that should there be a final nuclear accord with Iran, majority of its enriched uranium would be shipped to Russia. Consequently there will not be any sufficient amount of enriched uranium at one time in Iran which would enable it to make a nuclear weapon, if and when it decides to do so.

The other reason is that Iran needs to convert its enriched uranium to fuel for its Russian made nuclear reactors.

Why would Iran agree to take such a step?

One reason could be to allay fears that it wants to make nuclear weapons.

But another important reason is because Russian reactors in most cases only take Russian made nuclear fuel. Thats how they are designed. In fact using non Russian fuel for Russian made reactors could:

“trigger a nuclear accident”.

The Russians gave this warning to the Ukrainians after the latter reached a deal to buy US made nuclear fuel for its Soviet era nuclear reactors.

So this is something Iran would have had to do anyway. But the argument could also be made that allaying western fears regarding a bomb is a major part of Iran’s motivation, because if Iran didn’t want to allay such fears, it could have agreed to ship out the enriched uranium in smaller batches to Russia. This would have given Iran the option to have enough enriched uranium on its soil to make a weapon, if and when it decided to do so. In fact this is one of the reasons why the US and Russia rejected the 2010 Turkey – Brazil brokered deal for Iran’s nuclear program.

The news tonight is one small step forward. Lets not get too excited. There have been too many false starts. Its not over until Kerry and Zarif sing.

#Iran – #Russia energy deals no threat to nuke talks

1 May

Israel and the United States do not have much cause for concern about reports of two multi-billion dollar deals being negotiated between Iran and Russia.

Neither deal is likely to increase Iran’s leverage so it could ignore the nuclear negotiations. Nor is it likely that the deals will boost Iran’s leverage at the talks.

#Iran in 2014

26 Dec

In 2014, to foresee Iran’s behavior at the nuclear negotiations, we must look at domestic politics.
My latest article explains:

Iran nuclear talks snag: could be related to domestic politics

13 Dec

Iran’s Parliament (The Majles)

According to Reuters, talks between Iran and the P5+1 have hit a snag.

The reason is believed to be the Iranian regime’s unhappiness with the US adding new companies and individuals to its list of sanction evaders.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi sees these additions as “new sanctions”. According to his statement published on Fars news (and reprinted in Reuters):

“We are evaluating the situation and Iran will react accordingly to the new sanctions imposed on 19 companies and individuals. It is against the spirit of the Geneva deal.”

Fact: these are not “new sanctions” as Mr Araqchi states. These companies and individuals were punished as part of existing sanctions. And the US is not breaking the Geneva agreement by continuing with the existing sanctions.

Its very possible that the Iranian side is doing this because the Rouhani administration is coming under increasing pressure at home from those in the Conservative camp who oppose the Geneva deal. With this latest maneuver, the Rouhani administration could be trying to earn some street cred among the hardliners, who are becoming increasingly vociferous.

John Kerry has reason to be thankful. This latest move by Tehran will hurt those in Washington and Jerusalem who accuse the Obama administration of being “desperate”, “naive” and “falling over itself to sign a deal with the Iranians no matter what”.

The reaction by the Iranian team can be used as clear evidence that the US is serious about maintaining existing sanctions, regardless of whether Iran’s leaders like it or not.


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