Pray They Don't Alter It Any Further
Iran has described an agreement to curb its nuclear program as “not acceptable” days after the United States hailed the new framework deal.
Following the announcement of a framework accord that the United States described as a major step in rolling back Iran’s nuclear work, leaders in Tehran began to accuse the Obama administration of lying about the deal’s parameters.
The disagreement revolves around a White House fact sheet that outlined concessions Tehran agreed to after negotiations in Lausanne, Switzerland, last week.
On Wednesday, Iran rejected most of the concessions it reportedly agreed to undertake.
Top Iranian leaders are describing the framework as a “lie” and announced that international nuclear inspectors will not be permitted to enter any of its contested military sites.
Iran also maintains that all of the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear work will continue under any deal—a claim that runs counter to White House claims.
As I understand it, an "agreement" must take place between a minimum of two parties, but we seem to have signed one thing and the Iranians seem to have signed something completely else -- as this next report makes clear:
Tehran will not sign a final nuclear deal unless world powers simultaneously lift economic sanctions imposed on Iran, the nation's president said Thursday.
The United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany — the so-called P5 +1 group — reached an understanding with Iran last week on limits to its nuclear program in return for lifting crippling economic sanctions.
The U.S. has previously said the sanctions would be lifted in phases, but the details have not yet been negotiated.
The question is whether Iran thinks they can get Obama & Kerry back to the negotiating table for another round of framework discussions, having just thrown out the existing framework.
Who am I kidding? Of course that's what Iran thinks, because "an agreement at any price" was the administration's position right from the start, over six years ago now. "Six years" is only one way to measure it. "Thousands of centrifuges ago" would be another. Obama fiddles while Tehran enriches.
So really the question is whether Obama & Kerry will go back to the negotiating table for another round of framework discussions -- and if they do, what will they be prepared to give up this time? As we learned yesterday, the existing framework lifts the sanctions slowly, extends Iran's "breakout" time to a bomb to 12 months, but then allows Iran to do pretty much whatever they want after ten years. Iran has been playing a long game, so another ten years -- if indeed the verification regime even works -- is not a big deal to the mullahs. But I suspect the existing framework would neither extend the breakout time as long as promised, nor would the verification process be complete enough to make any kind of decade-long guarantees.
So Obama is going to have to give even more to get even less, if he still wants a deal -- and this is all on top of the humiliation just dished out to him today so publicly by Rouhani.
I'm not sure what the Farsi is for "Never give a sucker an even break," but I am sure that's been Rouhani's position right from the start.