"The EU has reported "very good progress" at talks with Iran on the implementation of a deal on Iran's nuclear programme. The issue was now "under validation at political level in capitals", the EU's External Action Service said. Earlier Iran's deputy foreign minister was quoted as telling state media all outstanding issues had been resolved. In November Iran agreed a deal to freeze its nuclear programme in return for sanctions being eased. In recent weeks Iranian negotiators have been meeting with representatives of the "P5+1" group (US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) to discuss how technical details of the deal would be implemented. "We found solutions for all the points of disagreement," Iran's deputy Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister earlier told state television, according to AFP. However, Mr Araqchi also said implementation of the agreement depended "on the final ratification of the capitals". He added that no further meetings at expert level were planned for the moment. For its part the US state department also said "good progress" had been made. "There have been a few outstanding issues, but at this point, the reports that everything has been finalised are incorrect," state department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, according to Reuters." BBC
What will happen if this progress in the talks is blocked by a veto proof majority in the US Congress that is determined to block an agreement by imposing additional sanctions? pl
That is the $64K question. I have not read
anywhere in the MSM any update on this.
Supposedly up to 58 senators have signed on
but maybe more by now. With the passing of
Sharon and his enshrinement as a warrior/states-
man it will probably be buried even further.
How many members of Congress and the political
establishment attend his funeral? Flags lowered
to half staff/mast?
I called my Senator, Kay Hagan, one of the 15 Democrats voting for increased sanctions against Iran and informed her I could not support her in the next election if she voted for increased sanctions and my husband, who has dual citizenship with Israel and was a lieutenant in the IDF will not be supporting her either. We both find it appalling that this group along with their Republican counterparts care more about appeasing AIPAC and Israel than what is best for the US.
– The just started negotiations will stop
– Russia and others will sign oil for stuff deals with Iran and over time make any U.S. sanctions completely irrelevant
– The P5+1 will accordingly fall apart
– Iran will continue its nuclear program, will continue to cooperate with the IAEA and will NOT work on nuclear weapons
– Iran will prosper
– Israel will press for war
IMO if the Senate overrides a BHO veto of a bill that scuttles the Iranian agreement it will mean that AIPAC & other American Likud members are not as ‘knocked back on their heels ‘ as we may have hoped. I do believe that its unlikely that a bill gets passed imposing new sanctions & less likely that such a bill would be veto proof in its support in the Senate . I say this because I also believe that the majority American voters understands that there are still elements in our Elite Structure that want to bomb Iran – and this is a non starter in this contemporary Comity .
Do all the commenters here actually WANT a nuclear-armed Iran?
If the talks fail either due to Kerry, or due to AIPAC pressure the Sanctions will unravel – excluding USA sourced ones, and the USA will not be able to counteract any of such sanction negation by EU or anyone else.
Do the Mothers deserve any credit for progress with Iran?
I wish the Democrats were half as effective in defeating their useless old guard politicians in primaries as the Republicans have been in recent years.
Obama, as always, has been ineffective in selling a peace plan with Iran and countering the warmongers.
“What will happen …”
Here is an idea what might be done: the local administration might lay border demarcations around capitol hill bearing the Israeli flag so people in future would know when they enter Israeli territory in Washington.
No, but unlike you we mostly do not think that is a necessary result of an agreement with Iran? !- Do you like there being a nuclear armed Israel? 2- Do you like having the Likud and AIPAC control American policy? pl
Do I like there being a nuclear armed Israel?
Don’t care. They’ve had nuclear arms for what – 20,30 years?
Does Israel have a chokehold on the Persian Gulf?
When did Israel seize a US Embassy?
Have a national “Death to America” day?
AIPAC, Likud control of US policy?
I suspect that “control” comes more from American Jewish political contributions – to the Democrats, mainly.
The premise of your question, that Iran does have a nuclear WEAPONS program, is very much in doubt, and not supported by the findings of the US intelligence community, and iirc not supported by Mossad also.
So what’s your point?
Rouhani is going to Davos to line up trade and barter deals with the Europeans later this month. Once that starts the sanctions are a dead issue regardless of what the US Congress does.
Maybe I’m naive, but this diplomatic approach, if the Iranians uphold their part of the bargain, seems like a clear win for the US, the people of Israel, and the people of Iran (though maybe not for idiotic hardliners any the respective governments). I can understand cracking down on Iran *if* they violate their part in the agreement, but prematurely torpedoing the negotiations by slapping sanctions on Iran when they’re actually trying to behave better seems stupid, evil, and downright misanthropic. If enough of our Senators are bought to pass such a travesty, I hope that “b” is right and the EU, China, and Russia decide to tell the US to pound sand on sanctions.
The White House put out some strong words for those in Congress pushing for Iranian sanctions. In the words of NSC spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan, “If supporters want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American people and say so.”
Obama, himself, ought to stand before the people and say these same words. He should also add that the U.S. has no intention to attack Iran unless Iran attacks us first or in accordance with an existing mutual defense treaty. He should then remind all that no such mutual defense treaty with Israel exists.
Full text of the NSC statement is here:
If Congress manages to override a veto of these new sanctions, I would not be displeased if the administration did all it could legally do to undermine the whole international sanctions regime. If Israel wants to a bunch of “silly sods” and attack Iran,their on their own.
Let’s see if this makes the Sunday news cycle.
The Jewish tragedy is always going a step too far….At what point might the FBI roll up AIPAC on charges of bribery?
I agree. It will take the US out of the great game in the ME, and others will move in. Russia for sure, also the Asian giants, and perhaps even European countries — Turkey, perhaps even France and Italy. The hardliners in Iran will say ‘I told you so’ and Iran will continue to do everything it is legally entitled to do under treaty.
Obama was forced into participation in this (essentially) UNSC/Iran negotiation. He predicted it probably wouldn’t work. He was correct. There is no possibility of normal relations between US and Iran. As a result of the years of propagandizing, by Obama and others, Americans hate Iran and some happy talk out of Switzerland won’t change that.
This would complicate matters for the US in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, but the shallow thinkers in Washington haven’t considered that.
TV wrote: “Do all the commenters here actually WANT a nuclear-armed Iran?”
Iran works for years within a “legal” framework without violating any important rules.
If you want them to give up some of their rights you have to offer something, that is basic politics.
When the only outcast (Israel) in combination with its US lobby wants to prevent this or even wants to extort even more concessions from Iran then it is obvious that the real issue is not Iran.
Therfore, you should spend your energy for improving the situation in the US, but not for labelling Iran as a criminal, that sounds stupid.
A somewhat hypothetical question. Assuming there is a deal that halts (or delays indefinitely) the Iranian nuclear program, and over time the regime becomes less anti-American although it still pushes for hegemony in the gulf, does the SST readership see a better opportunity from a US national interest perspective in working with the Iranians or the Saudis, other GCC nations and lesser states such as Jordan? Is their any potential to play something along the lines of the old “Twin Pillars” approach that balanced the then Shah’s Iran with the surrounding Sunni-majority (except Bahrain which is Shia majority) countries? And what type of engagement should it be, over the horizon, in theater, or CONUS based and let the chips fall where they may?
Are you in favor of military action to thwart the Iranian from becoming nuclear armed ?
The US people would have to demand it in the same way that they told Congress that they would not accept an attack on Syria over the CW issue. pl
Jeez, I ought to proofread before hitting send. “If Israel wants to be a bunch of silly sods, they’re on their own.” I’d like to add that there should also be an embargo on military aid to Israel if they choose that option.
I think we should be reticent in picking sides, seek friendly commerce with all and let the chips fall where they may. Although I would still like to see a severe curtailment of Saudi money going to Salafist jihadist groups around the world.
Forget France or Italy
Look at Germany – trading with Iran has increased since 2010 and after the announcement of last November, German businesses want trade to increase. The UK, realising how far ahead and successful Germany is in China does not want a redux and is keen to maintain talks with Iran- all the hope on Libya has been a dud as far as the Brits are concerned.
The Arabs that live in the Middle East do care that Israel has nukes. According to polls, Arabs fear the US and Israel which have nukes, and not Iran which doesn’t.
Arab countries, supported by Iran, have for years have been trying unsuccessfully to establish a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in the Middle East. These attempts have been stopped by the US.
Nuclear-weapon-free zones have already been established in Latin America and the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Africa and Central Asia.
It’s necessary to read the “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013” to understand how radical and terrible it is.
(1) The Government of Iran continues to expand the nuclear and missile programs of Iran in violation of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions.
(2) The Government of Iran has a decades-long track record of violating commitments regarding the nuclear program of Iran and has used diplomatic negotiations as a subterfuge to advance its nuclear weapons program.
(3) Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, having directed, supported, and financed acts of terrorism against the United States and its allies that have resulted in the thousands of deaths, including the deaths of United States citizens and members of the Armed Forces of the United States. . .
The President may suspend the application of sanctions imposed under this Act or amendments made by this Act for a 180-day period . . .–Following the 180-day period described in paragraph (1), the President may renew a suspension of sanctions under that paragraph for 2 additional periods of not more than 30 days . . .
the President may suspend the application of sanctions imposed under this Act or amendments made by this Act for a one-year period if the President certifies to the appropriate congressional committees that the United States and its allies have reached a final and verifiable agreement or arrangement with Iran that will–
(A) dismantle Iran’s illicit nuclear infrastructure, including enrichment and reprocessing capabilities and facilities, …
I think the UN sanctions are on their way to being rolled back or repealed, regardless of US actions and influence. I see the US State Department and Obama working to open/broaden relations with Iran, though far from achieving Most Favored Nation status or military treaties. I don’t see Obama signing or enforcing any greater sanctions that Congress might vote. He might try to administer new sanctions in the slowest and weakest interpretations possible, negating any actual effects. Should Israel be so foolish as to unilaterally attack Iran, it would unify the muslim world against Israel (and likely the US), and all of the Arab Spring ‘revolutions’ would cease. Israel might be best sticking with its low level assassination campaign against Iranian nuclear staff.
i An interim agreement to freeze Iran’s nuclear programme will enter into force on 20 January, it has been announced.
The deal, agreed in talks with world powers in November, envisages easing of some international sanctions on Tehran.
US President Barack Obama welcomed the news but said more work was needed to strike a long-term deal. He threatened new sanctions if there was a breach.
The West accuses Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, but Tehran has consistently denied that.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the world powers would now ask the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog (IAEA) to verify the deal’s implementation.
Here is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s press release on the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013–
And the proposed bill; the link to it from the committee’s site looks to be the same as yours–
Sanctions were just getting in deep.
Keep them up.
Military action (as outlined by several people more knowledgeable then me) against a country of that size would be futile and probably make Iraq look like a day at the beach.
And this country is sick of war – especially the endless type half a world away when there is not an existential threat.
Der Spiegel: “Chance of a Century: International Investors Flock to Tehran,” Daniel Bernbeck, head of the German-Iranian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Tehran, said airplanes are now “full of Italians” seeking to jumpstart business deals, including managers from the Italian energy company Eni S.p.A. The article noted that the French “are about to renew their licensing contract for supplying Peugeot components to Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro.”
One reason for that is that sanctions have cut both ways, buyer and seller, so the sanctions hurt EU firms and helped tank the EU economy. Now is an opportunity to change that.
“AIPAC, Likud control of US policy?
I suspect that “control” comes more from American Jewish political contributions – to the Democrats, mainly.”
You’d be wrong, considering that it was under Bush also that Israel got carte blanche to do whatever it wanted to do.
As for AIPAC control, Contributions play a role, Israeli firsters in positions of authority play another.
The result of US encouragement was Israeli recklessness – the abortive drive into Lebanon of 2006 and the Izzies venting their frustration over their defeat there by pommeling Gaza in 2008/2009.
I find it striking that while Iran routinely pledges defiance, in their peculiar language, Israel openly announces to attack this that or another country, and habitually violates the sovereignty of their neighbours. Israel’s hostility is one of aggressive action.
Iran’s hostility is defiance in face of rather overt US and Israeli hostility. The embassy aside, with all the harm US actions and sanctions have inflicted on Iran one could say it’s time to call it even by now.
Not even that wiping Israel off the map meme is for real. In reality it iirc was a reference to a speech by Khomeini in which he said that Israel would vanish from the page of time like the crusader states did before it. That is not a resolution to push Israel into the sea, but the view that Israel will disappear, maybe on its own.
One potential cause I can easily imagine in light of Israel’s conduct is that this could happen by Israeli overreach and exhaustion.
And, besides, you still have not addressed the point that Iran’s nuke reprogram so far is only asserted.
There is no evidence for it. The IAEA permanently monitors Iranian sites and attests routinely to their non-diversion of nuclear material for non-peaceful purposes. The US intelligence community didn’t find any. Israeli intelligence is inclined to agree i.e. despite of Bibi’s histrionic bluster, there probably is no there there.
“U.S. intelligence agencies don’t believe Iran is actively trying to build an atomic bomb.
A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007.”
Chief of Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz: “Iran “is going step by step to the place where it will be able to decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It hasn’t yet decided to go the extra mile”.
And speaking of the supreme leader he continued: “I don’t think he will want to go the extra mile. I think the Iranian leadership is composed of very rational people.”
“The Israeli view is that while Iran continues to improve its nuclear capabilities, it has not yet decided whether to translate these capabilities into a nuclear weapon – or, more specifically, a nuclear warhead mounted atop a missile. Nor is it clear when Iran might make such a decision. ”
The Izzies gloss the absence of any evidence for an actual Iranian nuke program over by conflating a weapons program with a “weapons capability” – i.e. the ability of Iran to enrich – a technology known for at least 70 years – and the knowledge of physics, along the lines of ‘mastery of fire’.
Unless one wants to de-indrustialise and de-educate Iran, such a capability is not going to go away, and also, it is most certainly not tantamount to a nuclear weapons program and a threat. The Israeli position on this is BS.
In contrast, Israel’s nuclear arsenal is a reality, and they very likely built it with French aid and nuclear material and technology stolen from the US.
Perhaps the Izzies are mirror imaging and regarding the Iranians as every bit as calculating and deceptive as they were when they built their arsenal, or when they pursue what they call ‘peace talks’?
RW: The purpose of the new sanctions bill is to prevent Iranian compliance. See http://www.lobelog.com/flaws-in-the-kirk-menendez-iran-sanctions-wag-the-dog-bill/
The President could never certify that Iran was in compliance.
If this mess passes the Senate with a veto-proof majority, I will never vote for my two senators, Gillibrand and Schumer, again. I called both offices yesterday to inform them of that.
Apparently all GOP Senators except Rand Paul are on board and Schumer is busy strong-arming vulnerable Senate Dems in election 2014 so as to get to 67 yes votes/veto-proof majority. I saw a CNN report quoting some anonymous Senate adide claiming an informal vote count currently has 77 yesses.
A similar bill passed the House this summer. If passed by 67 Senators, will there be a conference committee to work out differences?