Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

According to Iran, the deal isn't sealed

What was all the hoopla about the Iran nuclear deal? All the time spent discussing the deal and debating the deal among Americans across the country seems now to have been wasted time (By the way, Americans were against this deal four to one according to a compilation of polls by The Israel Project). All the agony of decision making and wrestling of consciences among Congress as to how to vote on this deal—called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—and now, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the Islamic Republic of Iran is saying the deal was never finalized!

Ali Akbar Velayati, the head of Iran’s Center for Strategic Research and a close adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said the “nuclear negotiations are not over yet,” expressing what Khamenei had already said in a Sept. 3 speech, stating that he did not accept the terms of the agreement because they want a “complete lifting of sanctions.” Will the squeaky wheel get oiled by the weak P5+1 foreign ministers?

Khamenei stated: “We negotiated [with the Americans] in order to have the sanctions lifted, and the sanctions will be lifted. Now, if we are supposed to uphold this framework... this completely contradicts the reason for Iran’s participation in the talks to begin with. Otherwise, what was the point of our participation in the talks? We would have continued to do what we were doing... The fact that we sat down and held talks and made concessions on certain issues was mainly in order to have the sanctions lifted. If the sanctions are not going to be lifted, there will be no agreement... [Our] officials [i.e. Rouhani’s government and his Ministry of Foreign Affairs] should make this clear...

“Freezing or suspension [of the sanctions] is unacceptable to me... If they suspend [the sanctions], we too will suspend [what is incumbent upon us]. If we are to implement what [is required of us], the sanctions must be cancelled. True, the other side says that some of the sanctions are not to be lifted. We say in response that [with regard to those sanctions] we will use our legal rights to freeze them. But regarding [the sanctions that are] in the hands of the American and European governments—those must be totally lifted.”

According to MEMRI, “The apparent meaning of all the above is that the nuclear negotiations, which Iran considers unfinished, will be reopened, with the aim of achieving the complete lifting of sanctions—instead of a mere suspension of them as was agreed in the JCPOA and adopted in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231.”

In the immediate aftermath of Khamenei’s speech, White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated:

“We’ve been crystal clear about the fact that Iran will have to take a variety of serious steps to significantly roll back their nuclear program before any sanctions relief is offered—and this is everything from reducing their nuclear uranium stockpile by 98 percent, disconnecting thousands of centrifuges, essentially gutting the core of their heavy-water reactor at Arak, giving the IAEA the information and access they need in order to complete their report about the potential military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program. And then we need to see Iran begin to comply with the inspections regime that the IAEA will put in place to verify their compliance with the agreement.

“And only after those steps and several others have been effectively completed, will Iran begin to receive sanctions relief. The good news is all of this is codified in the agreement that was reached between Iran and the rest of the international community. And that’s what we will be focused on, is their compliance with the agreement.”

Now Iran is backpedaling. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Sept. 28 to discuss “Iran and other matters.”

But now, with Iran refusing in retrospect to acknowledge the above, “The expected meeting between the P5+1 foreign ministers and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif may be evidence of a shift in the White House position and also evidence that it intends to discuss the Iranian demand for further concessions from the superpowers,” MEMRI stated. “It should be clarified that agreement on the part of the U.S. to lifting the sanctions would constitute a fundamental change to the JCPOA. This is because lifting the sanctions, rather than suspending them, will render impossible a snapback in case of Iranian violations, and the guarantee of a snapback is one of the central justifications for the JCPOA, according to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry.”


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