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How Will Negotiations Play Out Between Iran and the West?

The regime is now close to its nuclear goal, and we should have little patience for Iran's stalling tactics.

by
Jonathan Spyer

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October 4, 2013 - 12:09 pm
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A couple of things need to be made clear regarding the Iranian nuclear program, and Iran’s broader current situation. Both of them are of practical relevance to the form that the negotiations now opening up between the west and Iran should take.

First, the Iranians are now very close to achieving a nuclear weapons capability. Iran now has 186 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20%. It is generally considered that it will need 250 kilograms, which it can then rapidly enrich further to 90% for the production of a nuclear weapon.

This point, according to former head of IDF military intelligence Amos Yadlin, is a matter of “months” away.

Yadlin thinks that achieving the ability to place a deliverable nuclear warhead on a missile might take Iran longer to master. But the Iranians are into the final stretch. All that is now required to take them to the threshold of nuclear capability is an amenable international atmosphere for the next year or so.

Second, the sanctions against Iran have hit the Iranian economy hard. Foreign currency reserves have been severely depleted. The value of the Iranian riyal has plummeted.

This has led some observers to conclude that the election of Rohani and the proclaimed turn toward flexibility may this time have some substance to it. The argument is made that whatever the ideological intentions of the Iranian regime, the sanctions have placed it in an impossible position, from which it now has no choice but to seek a dignified exit through rapprochement with the west.

This view is belied by the evidence of Iranian behavior on matters not directly related to the nuclear file. For the last two and a half years, Tehran has been directly challenging the west in one of the most important Mid Eastern arenas –- that of the Syrian civil war. In offering their backing to their client Assad regime, the Iranians have spent somewhere in the region of $10 billion. This is a massive outlay for any country. For a country suffering the demonstrable effects of international sanctions it is an enormous investment, carrying a clear message.

The message is that where the regime’s core strategic interests and ambitions are at stake, it will not compromise, but rather will find a way through. Severe internal repression will serve to dampen any public response to the undoubtedly deleterious effects of the sanctions. So far, it appears to be working.

This is demonstrably and undeniably the choice the regime chose to make regarding the costly but ultimately secondary issue of defending a key regional ally. It is not clear on what the optimists base their view that when it comes to primary, cardinal issues such as their nuclear program, the regime will for some reason choose to adopt a more flexible stance.

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28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Easy question-answer: Iran wins!
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't Shiite yourself, the crazy mullahs still run things, and they want to nuke Israel so badly it makes them wet just to think about it.

We will eventually have a very stark choice w Iran. Either let the nutbags get their hands on a nuke and all that implies, or turn a substantial portion of Iran into a glass parking lot. Negotiation with mad dogs is just an exercise in futility.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Are we getting any oil out of any of these muslims fools? There is only one reason for the middle east-Oil for us nothing else, okay some of the Persian rugs are okay especially in the garage.

They are sub – human, but Iranian women are really hot compared to other muslims.

We should nuke as many Muslims as possible, of course

1st for oil,
2nd for 9/11 and
3rd because they are muslims.

But get that oil, and those pretty Iranian girls

Jihad the rest of those fools send them to allah and 80 virgin camels
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's see: Obama is committed to rapprochement with Iran. He might be indirectly motivated by Saudi and Gulf opposition to his MB policy (excluding Qatar?). The Saudis hate him for US policy in Egypt, perhaps Libya - and for what, according to former JCoS head Shelton, was American support for a coup attempt in Bahrain. If true, then it meant the US supported what was essentially the Iranian/Shiite forces in Bahrain. They lost. Now what?

Netanyahu called out Obama at the UN. Reports are of an Israelis-Egyptian-Saudi-Gulf alliance against Iran. The US is effectively out of the loop for its support for the MB and has succeeded in driving old enemies together. Given Obama's inability to stand up to Russia (backing Iran and Syria) and his likely anger at the Saudis (the anger towards the Egyptian generals is clear), and his lack of enthusiasm for helping Israel out vis-a-vis Iran, the outlines of what will happen are clear enough. For now.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting but there is NO LINKL. If you link to Infowars or Rense I am not reading it.

Just FYI of I google "JCoS Shelton American support coup attempt in Bahrain" with or without modifiers and it does not come up in the 1st page or two of search results I will move on to other stories. Lots of stuff to look up there too.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why do you think I would reference Rense? He's a flipping Holocaust denier.

It is from an article on AtlasShrugs. If you want to rule out Pam Geller, up to you - I would not.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is better to keep the Great Satan's mouth closed and let people think we are impotent than to open it and remove all doubt.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
As if there is anything we could do.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
We could try humor and wear T-shirts saying "I am with Stupid" with obama's picture.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just bomb the crap out of them, people. Later on we can say that "rogue extremists who do not represent the spirit of our armed forces" did it, we apologize, send a few medics and good night. I am tired of them and the negotiations. No one likes them, no one is going to stick out for them or take their side. Just wipe them off the map and ask: who's next? The Saudis will be applauding, the Israelis will be applauding, everyone will be happy and Persia will glow in the dark for 25,000 years reminding the world to behave.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
You are hilarious. We don't have a Command-in-Chief who has guts to make real gutsy calls, we have a Clown-in-Chief who "leads" from Putin's behind. The red circles he drew round himself made us the butt of international jokes. He couldn't threaten Assad, and you expect the Iranians to capitulate?
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was not addressing the joke in the White House. May be a "rogue" commander somewhere who happens to be a red-blood American man with pre-1945 br*ass b*alls.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Such a rogue commander would be arrested before or after such deed. If arrested afterwards, we would be paying reparations.

The left would jump all over it and make sure to denigrate the whole military. Then you really would see an Obama SS.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
In a contest that has an insane foe against a master of disaster such as our current crop of elites... We will win a Pyrrhic victory at great cost to many of our best people, but the Persians will be baked into glass...
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
But first can we get a man for a commander in chief? I don't think the present android has the right equipment.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great column, Jon, but you should have gone a step further. Is containment a viable option? I would assess that it is not.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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