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Thread: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

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  1. #21
    Senior Member sami's Avatar
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    Wary silence from Arabs over Iran deal

    RIYADH: Iran's nuclear deal with global powers was met with wary silence from Arab states on Sunday, with Iran's only two Arab friends Iraq and Syria welcoming the accord but others keeping their opinions to themselves.

    All Arab countries apart from Syria and Iraq are ruled by Sunni Muslims who mainly regard Shia Iran as a foe and have been deeply uneasy over the prospect of any rapprochement with the West that would benefit Tehran.

    Arab leaders worry that the deal, under which Iran is being given relief from sanctions in return for curbs to its nuclear programme, signals a thaw in the 30 years of hostility between Tehran and Washington which will give Iran more regional clout.

    "I am afraid Iran will give up something on [its nuclear programme] to get something else from the big powers in terms of regional politics. And I'm worrying about giving Iran more space or a freer hand in the region," said Abdullah al-Askar, chairman of Saudi Arabia's appointed Shoura Council, a quasi-parliament that advises the government on policy.

    "The government of Iran, month after month, has proven that it has an ugly agenda in the region, and in this regard no one in the region will sleep and assume things are going smoothly," Askar said.

    At the time he spoke, Saudi Arabia had yet to give any official response, and Askar stressed that he was giving his personal views. Other Sunni-ruled Arab states also had yet to respond on Sunday.

    In the hours before Sunday's deal was sealed, Gulf Arab leaders, including Saudi King Abdullah and the rulers of Qatar and Kuwait, met late on Saturday night to discuss "issues of interest to the three nations".

    The Gulf Arab rulers oppose Iran on countless fronts across the region, including Syria, where they fund and arm rebels fighting against Iran's friend, President Bashar al-Assad. They accuse Tehran of fomenting unrest in a range of countries including Yemen, Bahrain, Lebanon and Iraq. Iran denies such meddling.

    "The people of the region know Iranian policies and Iranian ambitions. And they know that Iran will interfere in the politics of many countries in the region," Askar added.

    By contrast, Iraq, which has a Shia-led government and is the only Arab state that is openly friendly with both the United States and Iran, was quick to praise the agreement.

    "The reaching of a deal between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the six international powers is seen as a major step for the region's security and stability levels," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said in a statement.

    "Iraq ... expresses its full support for this step and its readiness to back it, so as to ensure the completion of the remaining phases and to promote a climate of dialogue and peaceful solutions," the statement said.

    The Syrian government of Assad, a longterm ally of Iran and a member of the Alawite sect that is an offshoot of Shia Islam, was also pleased.

    "Syria feels that reaching such an agreement is a sign that political solutions to crisis in the region are the best path for securing peace and stability, far from any threats of foreign intervention or use of force," a ministry official was cited as saying by state news agency SANA.

    Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-ruled countries have expressed unease in recent months over what they see as a recalibration of US policy, especially since Washington abandoned plans in September to strike Syria to punish it for a chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb.

    http://dawn.com/news/1058265/wary-si...over-iran-deal

    I object to this they are not sunni lead. They are not the majority. They represent one cult that is responsible for the mess that is the Wahhabis. But they refuse to call themselves as they will be seen to be a small intolerant minority and use the word sunni. I am sunni and I find the claim of this cult being representative of all sunnis distasteful

  2. #22
    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Good additions [MENTION=39]sami[/MENTION] but please keep iran deal reactions to this thread which I have merged and made sticky

  3. #23
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    [MENTION=1244]Muse[/MENTION] whilst everyone else was suggesting the different war scenarios between America and Iran in or about Nov 2011 you were the first I saw to suggest that a rapprochement maybe in the offing. Well done!
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  4. #24
    Think Tank Muse's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Earning my keep

  5. #25
    Administrator Aryan_B's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Muse View Post
    Earning my keep
    worth every penny and more.
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  6. #26
    Member ReoSpeedWagon's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    C0ngrats to Iran on this deal, hopefully the sanctions will be lifted and Iran And Pakistan could cooperate together in Energy and Economy.
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  7. #27
    Senior Member Fassi's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers reach historic nuclear deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Amjad Hussain View Post
    IF Iran's existing centrifuge arrays as well as it's low grade stockpiles are excluded, then I would posit it is simply kicking the nuclear can down the road.

    Someone could come up with a pretty accurate timeframe for the time it will take for Iran to enrich it's low grade stockpiles with it's centrifuge arrays.

    To me it smells of delay that works for the US(declare victory when one is DESPERATELY needed) and Iran(economic breathing room).

    Israel and Saudi must be HATING this.....and it will be a bigger nastier wedge between the US and both.

    I wonder if Israel is starting to view the US like France in the mid 60's?

    While I would agree it would be good for the US to get its asss back from Israel/AIPAC as they have far too much influence over the US, I don't think this is necessarily the way to go about it.

    Same with Saudi Arabia.......Im sure the US are sick of getting poked to do Israel/Saudi's dirty work. Lets hope for peace now AND Saudi and Israel can go get chilly in their pants.
    I wonder if Saudi and Israel will start singing from the same page?

  8. #28
    Member Arian's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    The English text of the agreement provided to the media:

    http://media.farsnews.com/media/Uplo...0903000147.pdf

    Main points:

    Iran would take the following measures voluntarily:

    From the existing uranium enriched to 20%, retain half as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR. Dilute the remaining 20% UF6 to no more than 5%.
    No reconversion line.

    Iran announces that it will not enrich uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months.

    Iran announces that it will not make any further advances of its activities at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, Fordow, or the Arak reactor , designated by the IAEA as IR-40.

    Beginning when the line for conversion of UF6 enriched up to 5% to UO2 is ready, Iran has decided to convert to oxide UF6 newly enriched up to 5% during the 6 month period, as provided in the operational schedule of the conversion plant declared to the IAEA.

    No new locations for the enrichment.

    Iran will continue its safeguarded R&D practices, including its current enrichment R&D practices, which are not designed for accumulation of the enriched uranium.

    No reprocessing or construction of a facility capable of reprocessing.


    Enhanced monitoring:

    Provision of specified information to the IAEA, including information on Iran's plans for nuclear facilities, a description of each building on each nuclear site, a description of the scale of operations for each location engaged in specified nuclear activities, information on uranium mines and mills, and information on source material. This information would be provided within three months of the adoption of these measures.

    Submission of an updated DIQ for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40, to the IAEA.

    Steps to agree with the IAEA on conclusion of the Safeguards Approach for the reactor at Arak, designated by the IAEA as the IR-40.

    Daily IAEA inspector access when inspectors are not present for the purpose of Design Information Verification, Interim Inventory Verification, Physical Inventory Verification, and unannounced inspections, for the purpose of access to offline surveillance records, at Fordow and Natanz.

    IAEA inspector managed access to:
    centrifuge assembly workshops;
    centrifuge rotor production workshops and storage facilities; and,
    uranium mines and mills.

    In return, the E3/EU+3 would undertake the following voluntary measures:


    Pause efforts to further reduce Iran's crude oil sales, enabling Iran's current customers to purchase their current average amounts of crude oil. Enable the repatriation of an agreed amount of revenue held abroad. For such oil sales, suspend the EU and U.S. sanctions on associated insurance and transportation services.

    Suspend U.S. and EU sanctions on:

    Iran's petrochemical exports, as well as sanctions on associated services.

    Gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions on associated services.

    Suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran's auto industry, as well as sanctions on associated services.

    License the supply and installation in Iran of spare parts for safety of flight for Iranian civil aviation and associated services. License safety related inspections and repairs in Iran as well asssociated services.

    No new nuclear-related UN Security Council sanctions.

    No new EU nuclear-related sanctions.

    The U.S. Administration, acting consistent with the respective roles of the President and the Congress, will refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

    Establish a financial channel to facilitate humanitarian trade for Iran's domestic needs using Iranian oil revenues held abroad. Humanitarian trade would be defined as transactions involving food and agricultural products, medicine, medical devices, and medical expenses incurred abroad. This channel would involve specified foreign banks and non-designated Iranian banks to be defined when establishing the channel.

    This channel could also enable:
    transactions required to pay Iran's UN obligations;
    and, direct tuition payments to universities and colleges for Iranian students studying abroad, up to an agreed amount for the six month period.

    Increase the EU authorisation thresholds for transactions for non-sanctioned trade to an agreed amount.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member sami's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Israeli markets gain on iran deal, Israeli investors say Iran deal not a mistake‏


    Israeli stock prices rose to another record high on Sunday, ignoring local politicians' comments that a deal to curb Iran's nuclear program was a mistake.

    Iran and six world powers clinched a deal earlier in the day to curb the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for initial sanctions relief, signaling the start of a game-changing rapprochement that could ease the risk of a wider Middle East war.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the agreement with Iran as a historic mistake that left the production of atomic weapons within Tehran's reach. Netanyahu told his cabinet his government would not be bound by the deal.

    But Israeli investors ignored such talk from Netanyahu and other lawmakers and doubt Israel will attack Iran on its own.

    The blue-chip Tel Aviv 25 index .TA25 rose 0.5 percent to 1,352.04 points at 9:12 a.m. ET, after reaching a new intraday high of 1,355.38 earlier in the session. Last Wednesday, the TA-25 posted a new record close, surpassing an April 2011 peak. It edged higher on Thursday to a new record and its sixth straight daily gain.

    "Israeli investors see a lower risk of conflict despite what politicians have to say. An agreement is reducing the odds of a military conflict," said Roni Biron, senior analyst at UBS Israel. "Investors are reading ... that this is a positive agreement. Investors are liking any agreement that is done in a diplomatic way. They prefer that to a military conflict."

    The broader TA-100 index finance/markets/index?symbol=il%21ta100">.TA100 was 0.7 percent higher at 1,220.97 points, some 33 points shy of a record.

    Bond prices rose, with the benchmark 10-year bond up 0.5 percent for its first gain in a week. Its yield slipped to 3.55 percent from 3.62 on Thursday, the last day of trade for the Israeli trading week.

    Analysts noted that gains on Wall Street and in U.S. Treasuries on Friday also helped to boost Israeli markets.

    Stock volume was weak at 737 million shekels ($207 million), but turnover is typically lower on Sundays given the lack of foreign investors. The foreign exchange market is closed on Sundays.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...9AN0CC20131124

  10. #30
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    A lot of peace lovers breathe a sigh of relief. Looks like Israel and Saudi Arabia are fast becoming a minority not happy with this deal. Hope thing now are given a chance to calm down in the region
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  11. #31
    Senior Member KingKong's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    Quote Originally Posted by Superkaif View Post
    A lot of peace lovers breathe a sigh of relief. Looks like Israel and Saudi Arabia are fast becoming a minority not happy with this deal. Hope thing now are given a chance to calm down in the region
    I think the USA will smooth Israel out but Saudi Arabia will have to fester

  12. #32
    Senior Member Wajid47's Avatar
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    Re: Iran, world powers agree nuclear deal

    S. Arabia cautiously welcomes Iran nuclear deal

    RIYADH, Nov 25: Saudi Arabia has cautiously welcomed the Geneva nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers, saying “good intentions” could lead to a comprehensive agreement on Tehran’s controversial atomic programme.

    “This agreement could be a first step towards a comprehensive solution for Iran’s nuclear programme, if there are good intentions,” the Saudi government said in a statement on Monday.

    In London, the British foreign secretary called upon Israel to avoid taking any action that would undermine the agreement.

    Urging world leaders to give the interim deal a chance, William Hague said it was important to try to understand those who opposed the agreement. But he urged Israel and others to confine their criticism to rhetoric.

    “We would discourage anybody in the world, including Israel, from taking any steps that would undermine this agreement and we will make that very clear to all concerned,” Hague said in a speech in parliament.

    In Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had decided to send his national security adviser to Washington for talks on Iran after warning the deal will convince Tehran it has a free hand to achieve a breakout nuclear capability.

    US President Barack Obama has frequently tried to reassure Netanyahu, calling him to discuss the issue. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also sought to placate Israel about the agreement with Iran, whose supreme leader last week described the Jewish state as a “rabid dog” that was “doomed to collapse”.

    “We will work so that the security of all the countries in the region, including Israel, is better assured,” Laurent Fabius said in an interview with a news agency.

    Asked about the risk of Israeli strikes on Iran, he responded that he thought such as move was unlikely “because no one would understand it” at this point in time.

    Fabius further said EU foreign ministers were to meet next month to discuss lifting some sanctions as part of the deal, a move he said could take place “in December”.

    But a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton sought to dampen expectations that a firm decision would be taken at the next foreign ministers’ gathering due on December 16.

    “It could be in December, it could be in January, it depends on how long the process takes,” he said.

    The landmark deal would curb parts of Iran’s nuclear programme in return for some relief from international sanctions.

    One senior Western diplomat said on Monday the focus in the coming weeks would be “swift implementation”.

    In Jerusalem, the EU ambassador-designate to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, echoed the French foreign minister’s comments, telling a crowd of diplomats and the country’s intelligence minister that the 28-member bloc had “Israel’s security at heart”.

    The so-called P5+1 world powers that negotiated the accord with Iran — the United States, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany — say it is a key first step that wards off the threat of military escalation in the Middle East.

    Under the deal, which lasts for six months while a more long-lasting solution is negotiated, Tehran will limit uranium enrichment to low levels used only for civilian energy purposes.

    It will also neutralise its existing stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 per cent, which is close to weapons-grade and therefore an area of top concern.—Agencies

    Dawn

  13. #33
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    Iran, From Enemy to Ally

    LONDON — THE recent nuclear deal with Iran has caused a predictable furor among Middle East hawks. But it offers an opportunity for a much bigger breakthrough: rapprochement and, eventually, even strategic cooperation with Iran.

    International alliances morph and shift; relationships freeze and unfreeze. For the last 30 years American-Iranian relations have been stuck in a cycle of suspicion and mistrust, to the detriment of both countries.

    America must now begin to think about a gradual realignment of its Middle East policy, one that aims to reintegrate Iran into the international fold and, over time, transform an enemy into an ally.

    It won’t be easy. But, in the long term, it would be good for the United States, Israel and the Iranian people.

    There are many benefits. Iran, which sits between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, can check Chinese access[​IMG] to critical energy sources, while acting as a buffer against an ever-truculent Russia. It also affects events in Lebanon, through its ties with Hezbollah, and in Israel and the Palestinian territories, through its ties with Hamas. And there won’t be a solution to Syria’s civil war without it.

    Iran currently opposes the United States in all those conflicts — largely because of historical enmity with Washington rather than ideological hostility alone. It uses Hezbollah to further its regional interests and rails against Israel to garner popular Arab support, not from a genuine commitment to the cause. And while its support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is more sincere, Iran’s past behavior suggests it might be willing to compromise.

    In 2003, fearing American military action, Iran reached out, via the Swiss, to American officials. It offered to put everything — including its support for Hamas and Hezbollah —up for discussion. Controversy surrounds the offer, which Washington eventually turned down. But it showed Iran was willing to use its support for militants as a bargaining chip.

    And the United States and Iran have several overlapping interests. Bound by mutual antipathy toward the Taliban, the two countries cooperated in the 2001 war in Afghanistan. Today, both oppose Al Qaeda; Iran can help with intelligence and regional knowledge in that fight.

    Iran would clearly benefit from warmer relations. From its 1980-88 war with Iraq to today’s sanctions, it has suffered. The country needs investment in its oil and financial sectors and foreign expertise to develop its economy, but those are impossible without fixing its relationship[​IMG] with the United States.

    It’s easy to forget that the two nations were once allies. In the 1970s Iran and Saudi Arabia formed Richard M. Nixon’s “twin pillar” strategy to counter Soviet influence in the region. Part of America’s unpopularity in Iran comes from its support of the hated shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, before he was overthrown in the 1979 revolution. But a realignment today, based on a new convergence of interests, would be a very different proposition.

    Becoming a partner of sorts with a member of “the axis of evil” would be extraordinarily hard for America. For a start, the Saudis would be horrified.

    But Saudi Arabia’s opposition doesn’t really matter as much these days. The United States built its ties with the Saudis on a need for oil that no longer exists to the same degree; therelationship is artificial and anachronistic.

    New fracking technologies have made America the biggest producer of hydrocarbons and non-OPEC exports in the world, while Canadian, South America and African sources are becoming increasingly plentiful. The Saudis still influence oil markets but they can no longer shock the global economy as they did with the 1973 oil embargo. Unlike Iran, Saudi Arabia has little to offer besides oil; it doesn’t have a democratic tradition and its financing of Wahhabi Islam has seriously damaged American interests across the world.

    Israel, like Saudi Arabia, fiercely objects to the nuclear deal. But that’s shortsighted. Détente between Iran and America could be good for Israel in the long run. Both the Jewish state and the Persian Shiite state are outsiders in a predominantly Sunni Arab Middle East. They were allies before 1979. And though Iran supports Hezbollah and Hamas, its army has never taken part in the many Arab wars against Israel.

    Even after the overthrow of the shah and the subsequent hostage crisis, Israel lobbied hard for the new Islamic Republic in Washington. Seeking to retain Iran’s friendship amid a sea of hostile Arab states, Israel even helped Iran in its war against Iraq.

    No matter how many peace treaties are signed with Arab leaders, only Iran has proved it can work with[​Israel. Moreover, Iran cannot be contained forever; it is far better for the two countries to come to terms based on shared interests.

    Iran is still a human rights violator and a sponsor of terrorism. But 30 years of sanctions and silence haven’t tempered its behavior. Conversely, engagement strengthens Iran’s moderates. One of Hassan Rouhani’s first acts as president was to release political prisoners. He has hinted that more concessions could follow if relations improve.

    The Iranian people are the West’s biggest asset. During the Cold War, communist governments remained hostile to the West but their citizens’ yearning for Western freedoms contributed to the downfall of those regimes.

    Iranians yearn, too. The country has a strong tradition of constitutionalism stretching back more than 100 years and its citizens are sympathetic to American-style democracy and know their lives would be vastly improved through détente with the West. That’s why they voted in large numbers for Mr. Rouhani earlier this year, and for the reformer Mir Hossein Mousavi, four years ago.

    Détente won’t happen overnight. Much of Iran’s clerical establishment is instinctively anti-American, and the American right remains hostile toward any rapprochement with Iran.

    But both Mr. Obama and Mr. Rouhani have proved they can go beyond their respective hard-liners to make a deal. The 21st-century Middle East is a new and dangerous place. To lead the region into a better future, Washington must adapt and leave old enmities behind.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/09/op...ally.html?_r=0

  14. #34
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    Tehran Says New U.S. Sanctions 'Against Spirit' Of Deal


    Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, who is on Iran's negotiating team

    December 13, 2013

    Iran's deputy foreign minister says new U.S. measures targeting individuals and companies for supporting Tehran's nuclear program are "against the spirit" of a deal reached in Geneva last month.

    Abbas Araghchi, who is on Iran's negotiating team, said on December 13 that his government is evaluating the situation after the United States the previous day added more names to a blacklist under sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from obtaining the means to construct nuclear weapons.

    Meanwhile, the European Union said that talks in Vienna on implementing last month's nuclear deal with world powers have been interrupted after four days for further consultations but are expected to resume "soon."

    Michael Mann, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said on December 13 that "reflecting the complexity of the technical issues discussed, it became clear that further work is needed."

    http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-nu.../25199766.html

  15. #35
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    The nuclear deal and the future of Iran

    By Hossein Askari

    The interim deal (not really an agreement) between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany that in 2006 engaged Iran on its nuclear program) has been hailed by some as a triumph of diplomacy over war mongering, and attacked by others as President Barack Obama's capitulation in his quest for a foreign policy legacy.

    Some commentators have hailed the deal as the best that could be had, while others have damned it as worse than no deal. Yet others have examined the deal from the perspective of the United States, Israel, or the Middle East, but with little focus on what it all means for the future of the Iranian people and US relations with the Muslim world. How will future generations of Iranians and Muslims view this deal? So as to understand our perspective, an assessment of how we got here is essential.

    Nuclear enrichment and sanctions
    On November 4, 1979, Iranian students sacked the US Embassy in Tehran and took 60 American hostages. This became an international crisis after the de facto ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, endorsed and supported their action. This was followed by Iraq's invasion of Iran on September 22, 1980, resulting in a brutal war that was to last nearly eight years with more than a million casualties.

    The US and its allies supported Iraq's Saddam Hussein with military hardware, military intelligence, and even with outlawed chemical weapons. Iran became isolated, with Syria as its only ally, and was perceived as a pariah nation. The new masters of Iran, the mullahs, or Shia clerics, managed to hold the country together and expel the Iraqi invaders. The ouster of the Shah and the defense of Iran against great odds afforded the mullahs a measure of deserved legitimacy in the eyes of average Iranians.

    Iran's post-revolution vulnerability was a gift to the mullahs, allowing them to cement their rule. But there was also a lesson for them and for Iranians from all walks of life. The Middle East is a dangerous neighborhood, with entrenched superpower interests. The mullahs decided that the cheapest and quickest way to deter regional and superpower aggressors, guard against regime change and stay in power for years was nuclear enrichment.

    The process began slowly with a small research reactor in 1990 and then accelerated under the supervision of Iran's intelligence services. Iran's goal became mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle and acquisition of the knowhow for weaponization but not the production of nuclear warheads.

    It was not, and is not, in Iran's or the clerics' interest to produce even a single warhead because this could invite quick and coordinated airstrikes, lead to a regional nuclear arms race, encourage a total multilateral trade embargo and possibly lead to the overthrow of the regime by outside forces united against the clerical rule. But Iran wanted, and still wants, to have the capability to produce a bomb in quick order if necessary. I believe that Iran either already has this capability or will have it within a few months.

    If the US and others believe that Iran does not already have this capability or will give up its quest because of the interim deal, then there is a serious gap in their understanding of the rulers of Iran. This was a program that amazingly evaded Western and Israeli intelligence infiltration and was brought to top global attention by the regime's armed nemesis - the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (People's Mujahedin of Iran, or the MKO) - an organization that fortunately for the regime is hated by most Iranians.

    But the hostage-taking and the nuclear program had another important consequence - economic sanctions and their impact on the Iranian economy, two topics on which many have deeply held views but generally little familiarity either with the impact of economic sanctions or with the Iranian economy. Let me elaborate.

    The US imposed unilateral economic sanctions on Iran beginning in 1979 by freezing Iranian assets held in the US. The sanctions later expanded to various exports from Iran to the US and US exports to Iran. Sanctions on Iran were highly porous until 1995 (with the adoption of tougher trade sanctions, for instance, Iranian crude oil imports had long ago been banned, but not refined products) and especially in 1996, with the adoption of the Iran Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA). ILSA did two things. It cut off investments in Iran, especially in its oil and gas industry, and made Iran a riskier country for foreign investors.

    With ILSA, the US also managed to cut off investments by third parties in Iran by threatening fines and expulsion from the US market. But even after ILSA, Iran could sell its oil to other buyers with little or no loss in revenues. Iran's non-oil exports, constituting roughly (depending on oil prices and thus oil revenues) 10% of its exports, suffered about a 5% reduction in total export revenues. At the same time, all imaginable foreign goods were available in Iran, including US goods (imported through third countries such as the United Arab Emirates, specifically Dubai).

    Sanctions became increasingly serious beginning in 2005 with the adoption of a number of financial sanctions under the term of Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levy and continuing into 2013 under his successor, David Cohen.

    These sanctions included a ban on u-turn dollar flows to Iran (dollars paid by non-US buyers of Iranian oil going to Iranian accounts outside the US), imposition of very heavy fines on foreign banks (such as Credit Suisse and the Union Bank of Switzerland) that had acted on behalf of sanctioned Iranian entities, sanctions on Iran's central bank (which had stepped in to assume the functions of its commercial banks), and cutting off Iranian banks from SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), severely curtailing their ability to engage in cross-border money transfers.

    A summary upshot of these financial sanctions was to (i) cut off Iran from the international financial system, (ii) reduce the flow of foreign exchange into Iranian coffers, and (iii) pressure the Iranian currency downwards.

    When Iran was cut off from the international financial system, the predictable fallouts were fast and furious. Iran could still sell its oil, but it could not readily use the funds it received. It could not move the dollars out of the country that had bought its oil to buy goods elsewhere.

    Thus Iranian banks could not open letters of credit to finance imports (how most trade is financed); instead, Iran would have to send people with suitcases of money or gold to secure its imports. And yes, Iran could barter for its oil or accumulate money in foreign banks to use on another day. In other words, imports became expensive for Iran. Moreover, as the availability of foreign exchange was squeezed, pressure increased on the exchange rate of the Iranian currency, the rial, because that exchange rate is supported by the central bank's readiness to buy rials for dollars.

    But this was not all. Earlier in 2006, the United Nations adopted multilateral sanctions against Iran and, most recently in 2012 and 2013, other countries boycotted Iranian oil, causing Iran's oil exports to fall by about 50% in 2013. This was made possible with little international disruption because there was sufficient oil on the international markets to make up for much of the reduction in Iranian oil exports.

    Looking back at the evolution of sanctions against Iran, we conclude that beginning in 1995-1996 sanctions became mildly serious and started becoming really serious around 2005-2006. To our mind, total financial sanctions, if strictly enforced, would be almost sufficient to cause serious harm to any economy. Think about it. Even if you could sell your oil, or whatever other goods you had, how could you use the proceeds effectively if you were totally cut off from the international banking system with no foreign bank willing to deal with you?

    Even so, we must note that while financial sanctions have become serious, (i) they have not been effectively and fully enforced, and (ii) financial sanctions that could have caused much more pain for the mullahs have been curiously avoided by the Obama Administration. Let me explain.

    Financial sanctions have been engineered and enforced by the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), reporting to the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, housed in the US Treasury. Under OFAC regulations, US citizens and residents cannot, without a license: directly or indirectly transfer money to Iran; repatriate money from Iran; buy or sell assets (real estate, shares, etcetera) in Iran; or open bank accounts in Iran.

    OFAC has made an example of a few small violators but has not gone after the big lawbreakers - individuals who have moved millions of dollars back and forth, have made significant investments in Iran, have not reported any of their Iranian income or capital gains for US tax purposes (if they did, their violations would immediately be exposed), and, most importantly, have indirectly (knowingly or unknowingly) supported the rule of the mullahs and undermined US policies.

    These lawbreakers may run into the thousands, with their activities running into the billions of dollars and enriching a number of important regime insiders in Iran.

    OFAC could easily stop these big-time transgressors and support legitimate transactions for needy US citizens and residents of Iranian origin. The Treasury could simply and publicly announce the law of the land: financial transactions with Iran (as described above) without a license are illegal and US citizens and residents must report their worldwide income; there would be an amnesty if violators reported all their income, repatriated their funds and paid their taxes.

    The idea would not be to punish these US citizens and residents but to enforce the law and cause a financial panic inside Iran. This announcement would in all likelihood: (i) motivate many, if not most, of these US citizens and residents to liquidate Iranian assets and repatriate their funds, (ii) cause residents of other countries with investment in Iran to panic and liquidate their assets, and (iii) cause even Iranian citizens, especially regime insiders including those with vast assets acquired under the rule of the mullahs, to panic and try to sell their assets in Iran and convert their rial proceeds to foreign currency before the big fall in the rial's value.

    It is not too difficult to see how a financial panic would ensue with the expectation of falling real estate and other asset prices in Iran and a total collapse of the Iranian rial. Such a financial collapse could turn even regime insiders against each other and motivate a positive change within Iran. As an aside, regardless of OFAC violations, not reporting foreign income is a violation of US tax laws.

    Some inescapable facts about sanctions
    It may help to look at some simple facts about sanctions to see how we got here, what mistakes we have made along the way and what the likely impact of the interim nuclear deal could be.

    Those in power in Iran and their cronies - important clerics, senior members of the intelligence services and of the military, and business middlemen - have invariably gained from sanctions. They operate in the shadows and make more money from illicit trade and financial dealings because sanctions afford them unusual opportunities and encourage opaque activities.

    The US is about the only country that uses economic sanctions as a foreign policy tool because of its large economy - it is a big importer of goods, a big exporter of some goods and the country with the power to threaten third countries with fines and sanctions if they do not support its sanctions against a target country. Thus for similar reasons multilateral sanctions are more likely to succeed than unilateral sanctions.

    But there are also facets of the target country that matter. If the target country has a diversified economy, is a member of a big trade block (such as the European Union), exports goods in heavy global demand (oil), and has little in terms of economic relations with the US (little trade and few US investments to begin with), then it is less vulnerable to US economic sanctions.

    The US uses economic sanctions to motivate a change in the objectionable policies of the target country. The premise behind such sanctions is that the target country's economy will suffer, either affecting the leadership directly or affecting the general population, which will then demand that the leadership change its objectionable policies. Clearly, sanctions are unlikely to succeed if the citizens endorse and support the policy that the US finds objectionable.

    In the case of Iran, sanctions prior to 2002 targeted Iran's support of terrorism, its interference in other countries, belligerence toward the Arab-Israeli peace process and human rights. Iranians would like to see some, if not all, of these objectionable policies changed, especially those dealing with human rights and social freedoms.

    Since about 2002, Iran's nuclear program (to master the nuclear cycle) has become a US obsession. But the program is one that the majority of Iranians support because of the country's vulnerability during the Iran-Iraq War. As a result, although sanctions became more threatening toward the Iranian economy, the targeted policy was not one that most Iranians wanted changed.

    At the same time, we should note that US sanctions on Iran included some elements that were not going to win supporters in Iran. The US sanctioned spare parts for Boeing commercial jets (raising a clear safety issue) on the silly premise that these planes also had a dual military use; the US insisted that third countries could not supply fuel to Iranian passenger planes (again raising a safety issue and increasing flight times because of more stops); sanctions also impeded the flow of medicines to Iran, and tightened visa regulations for Iranian students. All of these have, in my opinion, been counterproductive on humanitarian grounds.

    Noting the above, it would appear that the only way sanctions would change Iran's nuclear enrichment policies is if: (i) regime insiders were financially threatened because of economic losses and the collapse of the rial, and (ii) the economic pain in Iran were so extreme that the citizenry rose up in protest. Could this have happened? I can say that a financial panic could have been set in motion as outlined above, but I cannot say if it would have led to either of these two outcomes.

    The Iranian economy, sanctions and the nuclear deal
    The dire state of the Iranian economy became belatedly and widely recognized only as recently as in 2012 - high unemployment (around 20-25%), high inflation (exceeding 30% for basic commodities), slow per capita economic growth (averaging less than 1% per year during 2007-2012), falling oil output, increasing capital outflows, falling foreign exchange reserves and pressure on the rial's exchange rate, and ever growing and glaring income and wealth disparity between the haves and have-nots inside Iran.

    The late recognition of the dire state of the Iranian economy should not be surprising to anyone familiar with how Washington operates. In a private gathering of so-called Iran "experts" at a major Washington think tank some three to four years ago, a presumed expert on Iran quoted an International Monetary Fund report touting some of Iran's economic policies and achievements under then president Mahmud Ahmadinejad!

    This individual, who had not visited Iran in over 30 years and could only quote the nonsense put out by the IMF (based on data supplied by the Iranian government and assembled after a couple of short IMF staff visits to Iran during a year), currently commands Washington's respect as an Iran economic expert.

    Similarly, reporters who visit Iran a few times a year are hailed as intimately familiar with Iranian policies and practices - a notion that some in Iran's intelligence services find laughable - because they are shepherded around Iran and shown and told what the regime carefully orchestrates. But in Washington, if nonsense is oft repeated, it quickly becomes fact.

    The miserable performance of the Iranian economy (caused by many factors, including the Iran-Iraq War, high population growth during the first decade after the revolution, low oil prices between 1982 and 2000, economic sanctions and terrible economic management) is undeniable. Annual per capita income growth was close to zero during the period between 1980 and 2010. This economy still relies heavily on oil.

    Oil and gas fields require investments exceeding US$200 billion in the next five years just to maintain output at about the 2010 level. High unemployment and inflation rule, but, most importantly, there is little hope for a turnaround. The reason is simple. Economic performance in Iran has been miserable because of ineffective institutions, rampant corruption and terrible economic policies and management, and there is no reason to believe that the clerics and their backers will do anything different in the future.

    What has the role of sanctions been in Iran? Well, the US has made mistakes in the implementation of its sanctions against Iran as mentioned above - focusing on the nuclear and not on human rights and general freedoms, adopting some silly measures such as sanctioning spare parts for passenger planes, and not taking a firm stand against US citizens and residents who continue to violate OFAC regulations and US tax laws - but to say that sanctions have been "ineffective" in damaging the economy and in motivating the mullahs to come to the table is a gross misrepresentation of facts.

    Yes, sanctions have not changed the regime's nuclear policies, but they have played their part in the deterioration of the Iranian economy since about 2006. But even after acknowledging the role of sanctions - and to deny that sanctions have played a part is just plain wrong - we should add that the major reason for Iran's dismal performance has been economic mismanagement and not sanctions, with more on economic mismanagement below.

    With this background, let me now turn to the interim deal and what it means.

    The nuclear deal, the economy, the mullahs and the welfare of Iranians
    It is the dire state of the economy that has brought Iran to the table. Sanctions have played a part, though not the overriding part, in Iran's dismal economic performance. The root cause of Iran's economic failures is ineffective institutions and dismal economic mismanagement.

    The US and the Iranian regime have focused on the "surprising" election of the "reformist" Hassan Rouhani as the opportunity for an agreement, when in fact it is Iran's economic failures and the real threat for the regime's survival that have created this opening. Rouhani's election was a foregone conclusion and predicted after the Guardian Council in Iran determined the list of eligible presidential candidates. Rouhani is no reformer and is not a person who can give Iranians political rights, including free elections, social freedoms and a just society.

    He indeed has the backing of the supreme leader for now and has devoted allies in Iran's intelligence services, but even these may not be enough to give him a free rein to do as he wishes. While many outside of Iran claim that the supreme leader is in total control, they miss subtleties in the Iran of today - yes, he is above all others, but even he cannot do as he wishes in certain policy areas if opposed by the intelligence services and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. He needs their support.

    First, we should not fool ourselves about where Iran finds itself on the nuclear fuel cycle. Iran has nothing to lose from this interim deal. Iran certainly has, or will have in a matter of months, the capabilities to develop one or two nuclear warheads if it chooses to do so; and it can, in secret, develop the capability to produce a warhead that could be delivered by any one of its increasingly accurate missiles.

    Second, Iran will not accept the mothballing of its Arak heavy water nuclear power plant without serious compensation.

    Third, what Iran will accept are intrusive United Nations inspections. This the US and others will hail as a big breakthrough and the standard to thwart nuclear proliferation in the future; all of which were predictable at least six or seven years ago as the only basis for a deal.

    Fourth, the peeling away of sanctions will bring some economic relief to Iran, but it will not by itself bring long-term and widespread prosperity to Iran and Iranians. But the peeling away of sanctions will become unstoppable unless the mullahs make a glaring faux pas, something that is highly unlikely. The relaxation of sanctions will give Iran the foreign exchange it desperately needs and more importantly it will motivate US and European companies and banks to lobby for ever-increasing access to the Iranian market.

    The Iranian rulers and their cronies will offer oil companies contracts that they have not offered in over 30 years, lucrative production-sharing agreements that no Persian Gulf country today has on the table. They will give away Iran's birthright while enriching themselves and giving US oil companies the incentive to lobby on their behalf. Major corporations in other fields, commercial jet manufacturers, automobile makers, producers of heavy machinery, among others will join in the lobbying. Corporations will couch their lobbying in the name of stability, which in turn translates into the US embracing yet another Persian Gulf dictatorship.

    The lobbying will overwhelm any respect for human rights and the rights of common Iranians. Business greed will trump human rights. The peeling off of sanctions will enrich the mullahs, the senior members of the intelligence services, the Revolutionary Guards and middlemen in Iran as well as in the US with continuing business and political dealings in Iran.

    But there will be little progress in addressing Iran's fundamental economic needs. Yes, there may be big pronouncements of economic reforms, such as the appointment of an economic advisory board of Iranian economists in the US and in Europe (with limited knowledge of the corruption and economic injustice inside Iran) to recommend economic reforms and programs, but only cosmetic changes will be made.

    Iran needs drastic reforms to eliminate consumer subsidies, and institutional reforms that embrace the rule of law, a rejuvenated private sector with a reduced role for foundations, the Revolutionary Guard and the intelligence services, efficient markets, an equitable and enforced tax system, reduction of corrupt practices, provision of high quality education and healthcare, and a viable social safety net for the needy. There is no reason to believe that the clerics will do anything different than they have in the past.

    The Tehran regime's motivation is basically no different from the motivation of rulers in Riyadh or for that matter in any other oppressive oil (gas)-rich state of the region. They do whatever it takes to hold on to power and enrich themselves and their backers.

    And yes, the US can be helpful in supporting their oppressive policies. Fundamental reforms that would, in turn, threaten, weaken and undermine their hold on power are simply out of the question and they misrepresent Islamic teachings for cover and legitimacy, using the word "Islamic" to embrace the country's name in the case of Iran or adopting titles such as "the Custodian of the Two Holy Places" in the case of Al-Saud rulers in Saudi Arabia across the waters of the Persian Gulf.

    Some of the important attributes of a Muslim state that upholds Islamic values are undoubtedly:
    The absence of oppression with freely selected leaders serving at the pleasure of their community,
    The rule of law and equal justice for all,
    Inclusive governance in recognition of the unity of Allah's Creation,
    The absence of opulence and poverty eradication,
    equality of opportunity for all to develop,
    Reasonable equality of wealth and income,
    Adequate safety net for the less fortunate,
    The provision of good jobs for all those who can work,
    The absence of corruption, and
    The management of depletable resources (oil, gas, etcera) for the equal benefit of all, including future generations. These Islamic values are alien to the Persian Gulf!

    The mullahs in Tehran will simply not undertake reforms. In fact, because of short-term expediency to garner domestic backing, they have adopted institutions and practices that do exactly the opposite. After the revolution, the mullahs created foundations to benefit their supporters from the confiscated assets of the Shah, his family and foundations controlled by them and the vast holdings of businesses connected to the Pahlavi regime.

    These foundations represent a significant percentage of the Iranian economy today and are answerable only to the unelected supreme leader. In a similar economic grab, the intelligence services became partners in a number of key business interests by lending their "protective services". Most recently, and increasingly, the Revolutionary Guards have come brazenly to control a number of key sectors in the Iranian economy.

    By controlling possibly over 50% of the economy, these three broad business interests - foundations, intelligence services and the IRGC - reduce the Ministry of Finance's ability to bring economic prosperity to average Iranians. The regime is unlikely to adopt reforms that might threaten its short-run survival.

    The interim nuclear deal will cost the Tehran regime little, if anything, while affording the ruling mullahs more opportunities to solidify their hold on power, and in turn, deprive Iranians the chance of a better life - a truly representative government, the rule of law, respect for human rights and freedom, institutional reforms, social justice and economic prosperity.

    The US appears to be even looking beyond the interim Geneva deal. It looks as if Washington is willing to accept a permanent nuclear deal along the lines suggested above - freezing the status quo (permitting enrichment and the completion of the Arak plant but with intrusive inspection) - and making other concessions to the mullahs (the return of significant frozen Iranian assets under the Foreign Military Sales program), and implicitly supporting the clerical regime, in return for cooperation on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, and with Hamas and Hezbollah in order to broker a deal between the Palestinians and Israel.

    While the Obama administration may appear at first to have scored great diplomatic victories, it will be at the long-term expense of the Iranian people and US Muslim relations. In time, cooperation with the mullahs will be seen for what it is - US support for another dictatorship, alongside other Arab kleptocracies, and the alienation of even more Muslims in the future.

    Hossein Askari is a professor of Business and International Affairs at the George Washington University, and author and co-author of twenty books on the Middle East, including two books on economic sanctions.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_...01-231213.html

  16. #36
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    Jack Straw 'optimistic' over Iran future after Tehran visit



    Former foreign secretary Jack Straw has said he detects a "lighter atmosphere" in Iran and believes President Rouhani is "committed to change".

    Speaking after returning from a visit to Tehran, Mr Straw said Iran's new leadership wanted to bring the country "in from the cold" and have a "normal relationship" with the West.

    Iran recently agreed an interim deal to limit its nuclear programme.

    Mr Straw said he was optimistic but the West must not push Tehran "too far".

    Israel has criticised November's agreement between Iran and the international community, which will see some sanctions eased in return for Tehran's commitment to limit its uranium enrichment programme for civil purposes only.

    'Proper relationship'
    Mr Straw said he hoped a lasting deal could be reached and achieving this would boost the moderate forces in Iran.

    The Labour MP has just returned from a three-day visit to the country, where he was accompanied by former Chancellor Lord Lamont, Conservative MP Ben Wallace and Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn as guests of the Iranian Parliament.

    The parliamentary delegation had 15 meetings with administration officials as well as critics of the government, although it did not meet political dissidents.

    "There are any number of people amongst the conservatives who want to say that no good will ever come of visits from the West, and essentially want to isolate Iran from the West," Mr Straw told the BBC.

    "Whereas President Rouhani and his colleagues want a proper and normal relationship not only with the West but the rest of the world, and they want Iran to come in from the cold," said Mr Straw.

    'Malign'
    Mr Straw said the international community, including the UK, had often had a "malign influence" on Iranian affairs since the 1950s and must now do everything it could to help to support the president and not to give succour to "hardliners".

    "What's important is that President Rouhani is there, he's very committed to change but he faces his own difficulties and how the West reacts to this can either help or significantly undermine him and so it's really important that we build up better understanding of the position of Iran."

    "This never has been a one-man dictatorship.

    "It's not a classic Western democracy by any means but there's a very lively political situation which President Rouhani has to navigate."

    The UK government has said Tehran will face serious repercussions if it does not live up to its nuclear commitments.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25686207

  17. #37
    Senior Member Felix's Avatar
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    Iran, world powers agree to nuclear deal terms

    TEHRAN: Iran and six world powers have agreed on how to implement a nuclear deal struck in November, with its terms starting from Jan. 20, officials announced Sunday.

    The announcement, made first by Iranian officials and later confirmed elsewhere, starts a six-month clock for a final deal to be struck over the Islamic Republic's contested nuclear program.

    It also signals an easing of the financial sanctions crippling Iran's economy, though some US lawmakers have called for tough measures against the country.

    Iran's official IRNA news agency quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi confirming the news.

    The agency said Iran will allow the United Nations' atomic agency access to its nuclear facilities and its centrifuge production lines to confirm it is complying with terms of the deal.

    European Union negotiator Catherine Ashton praised the deal in a statement, saying ''the foundations for a coherent, robust and smooth implementation ... have been laid.''

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called the deal ''a decisive step forward which we can build on.''

    US Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the deal in a statement as well, saying further negotiations ''represent the best chance we have to resolve this critical national security issue peacefully, and durably.''

    Under the November agreement, Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment to five per cent, the grade commonly used to power reactors.

    The deal also commits Iran to stop producing 20 percent enriched uranium, which is only a technical step away from weapons-grade material, and to neutralize its 20 per cent stockpile.

    In exchange, economic sanctions Iran faces would be eased for a period of six months. During that time, the world powers Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, would continue negotiations with Iran on a permanent deal.

    The West fears Iran's nuclear program could allow it to build a nuclear bomb.

    Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes, such as medical research and power generation. Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported Sunday that under the terms of the deal, Iran will guarantee that it won't try to attain nuclear arms ''under any circumstance.''

    In a statement, US President Barack Obama said the deal ''will advance our goal of preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.''

    ''I have no illusions about how hard it will be to achieve this objective, but for the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed,'' Obama said.

    However, US lawmakers are proposing to blacklist several Iranian industrial sectors and ban banks and companies around the world from the US market if they help Iran export any more oil.

    The provisions would only take effect if Tehran violates the interim nuclear deal or lets it expire without a follow-up accord. However, that has caused anxiety in Iran, where hard-liners have already called the deal a ''poison chalice'' and are threatening legislation to increase uranium enrichment.

    In his statement, Obama said ''unprecedented sanctions and tough diplomacy helped to bring Iran to the negotiating table,'' but caution against implementing any more.

    ''Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation,'' he said.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1080052/ira...ear-deal-terms

  18. #38
    Elite Member sparkling's Avatar
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    US explains nuclear deal with Iran

    WASHINGTON: Iran will receive $4.2 billion from blocked overseas funds and about $7 billion of benefits from sanctions relief for concluding an interim nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries, US officials said on Monday.

    The first instalment of $550 million will be released on Feb 1 and the rest will in six instalments. The entire fund, blocked in the West due to a nuclear dispute with the West, will be transferred to Iran by July this year.

    The sanctions relief will also bring $7 billion of benefits to Iran, over the next six months.On Sunday, Iran and the P5+1 countries — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China — concluded an agreement which requires Iran to start eliminating its uranium stockpile from Jan 20 and complete the process in six months.

    In return, the P5+1 nations will begin to implement modest relief so long as Iran fulfilled its obligations and the two sides pursued a comprehensive solution to Iran’s nuclear programme.

    On Sunday, US President Barack Obama described the agreement as an “important step forward”, which could lead to “a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme”.

    President Obama also criticised a bipartisan move in the US Congress to tighten sanctions on Iran and promised to veto all such moves.

    “Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation,” he said.

    At a special briefing, three senior officials of the Obama administration explained that Sunday’s agreement starts the implementation of a joint plan of action reached in Geneva on Nov 24.

    Under the agreement, Iran will halt the progress of its nuclear programme and roll it back in key respects and in the next six month, the two sides will negotiate a comprehensive resolution to this issue.

    On Jan 20, a UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will report on the current status of Iran’s nuclear programme.

    From Jan 20, Iran will stop installing or feeding additional centrifuges and will halt over 5 per cent enrichment. Iran will also stop production of the 20 per cent enriched uranium and to disconnect the cascades which have been connected together in tandem to efficiently produce 20 per cent enriched uranium.

    On the first day, Iran will also start to dilute half of the 20 per cent enriched uranium that it now has in gaseous UF6 form, and would continue convert the rest of its UF6 to oxide. This will end further enrichment.

    On Jan 20, Iran will also provide to the IAEA all the information it needs to monitor Iranian nuclear facilities, include those kept out of the agency’s reach so far. This will include the centrifuge assembly workshops and centrifuge rotor production workshops.

    The IAEA will be responsible for verifying and confirming all of the nuclear-related measures consistent with its broader safeguards verification role.

    In addition, the P5+1 and Iran will be setting up a joint commission that will work with the IAEA to monitor implementation of the Joint Plan of Action and to facilitate resolution of past and present concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme.

    The agreement also requires the United States to refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1080344/us-...deal-with-iran

  19. #39
    Senior Member Mazea's Avatar
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    US explains nuclear deal with Iran

    ANWAR IQBAL
    WASHINGTON: Iran will receive $4.2 billion from blocked overseas funds and about $7 billion of benefits from sanctions relief for concluding an interim nuclear deal with the P5+1 countries, US officials said on Monday.

    The first instalment of $550 million will be released on Feb 1 and the rest will in six instalments. The entire fund, blocked in the West due to a nuclear dispute with the West, will be transferred to Iran by July this year.

    The sanctions relief will also bring $7 billion of benefits to Iran, over the next six months.On Sunday, Iran and the P5+1 countries — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China — concluded an agreement which requires Iran to start eliminating its uranium stockpile from Jan 20 and complete the process in six months.

    In return, the P5+1 nations will begin to implement modest relief so long as Iran fulfilled its obligations and the two sides pursued a comprehensive solution to Iran’s nuclear programme.

    On Sunday, US President Barack Obama described the agreement as an “important step forward”, which could lead to “a comprehensive resolution that addresses our concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme”.

    President Obama also criticised a bipartisan move in the US Congress to tighten sanctions on Iran and promised to veto all such moves.

    “Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation,” he said.

    At a special briefing, three senior officials of the Obama administration explained that Sunday’s agreement starts the implementation of a joint plan of action reached in Geneva on Nov 24.

    Under the agreement, Iran will halt the progress of its nuclear programme and roll it back in key respects and in the next six month, the two sides will negotiate a comprehensive resolution to this issue.

    On Jan 20, a UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will report on the current status of Iran’s nuclear programme.

    From Jan 20, Iran will stop installing or feeding additional centrifuges and will halt over 5 per cent enrichment. Iran will also stop production of the 20 per cent enriched uranium and to disconnect the cascades which have been connected together in tandem to efficiently produce 20 per cent enriched uranium.

    On the first day, Iran will also start to dilute half of the 20 per cent enriched uranium that it now has in gaseous UF6 form, and would continue convert the rest of its UF6 to oxide. This will end further enrichment.

    On Jan 20, Iran will also provide to the IAEA all the information it needs to monitor Iranian nuclear facilities, include those kept out of the agency’s reach so far. This will include the centrifuge assembly workshops and centrifuge rotor production workshops.

    The IAEA will be responsible for verifying and confirming all of the nuclear-related measures consistent with its broader safeguards verification role.

    In addition, the P5+1 and Iran will be setting up a joint commission that will work with the IAEA to monitor implementation of the Joint Plan of Action and to facilitate resolution of past and present concerns about Iran’s nuclear programme.

    The agreement also requires the United States to refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions.

    http://www.dawn.com/news/1080344/us-...deal-with-iran

  20. #40
    Senior Moderator Superkaif's Avatar
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    Israel Lobby Thwarted in Iran Sanctions Bid For Now

    In what looks to be a clear victory – at least for now – for President Barack Obama, a major effort by the Israel lobby and its most powerful constituent, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to pass a new sanctions bill against Iran has stalled in the U.S. Senate.

    While the legislation, the “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013,” had gathered 59 co-sponsors in the 100-member upper chambre by last week, opposition to it among Democrats appears to have mounted in recent days.

    That opposition apparently prompted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who controls the floor calendar, to back away from a previous commitment to permit a vote on the measure some time over the next few weeks. As a result, AIPAC is now reportedly hoping to get the bill through the Republican-dominated House of Representatives.

    Democratic resistance to the bill, which its critics say is designed to scuttle the Nov. 24 Joint Plan of Action (JPA) between Iran and the so-called P5+1 (U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany) and any chances for a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement, has grown stronger since Sunday’s successful conclusion of an implementation agreement between the two sides and by Obama’s explicit pledge to veto the bill if it comes to his desk.

    Even one of the bill’s 16 Democratic co-sponsors, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, said this week that he saw no need for a vote “as long as there is progress” in implementing the Nov. 24 accord.

    The accord, which formally takes effect Jan. 20, will ease some economic sanctions that have been imposed against Iran and ban any new ones in exchange for Tehran’s freezing and, in some cases, a rolling back key elements of its nuclear programme pending the negotiation within a year of a comprehensive agreement designed to prevent Tehran from achieving a nuclear “breakout capacity”, or the ability to build a bomb within a short period of time.

    That goal is widely considered to be the single-most important – and potentially dangerous, both politically and strategically — foreign policy challenge facing Obama in his second term.

    While Obama has pledged to use all means necessary, including taking military action, to prevent Tehran from obtaining a bomb, he has made little secret of his strong desire to avoid becoming engaged in yet another war in the Middle East, a desire that appears widely held both within the foreign policy and military elite, as well as the general public, according to recent opinion polls.

    For its part, Iran has long said it has no intention of building a bomb. But it has also insisted that any final agreement must recognise its “right” under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to enrich uranium to levels consistent with the needs of a civil nuclear programme.

    While the administration and the other P5+1 powers appear inclined to accept a deal that would, among other things, permit limited enrichment under an enhanced inspection regime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that any final accord should effectively dismantle Iran’s nuclear programme, including its enrichment capabilities.

    Netanyahu’s demands are largely reflected in the pending Senate bill which is named for its co-sponsors, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, each of whom received more campaign money from AIPAC-related political-action committees than any other senatorial candidates during their runs for office – in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

    The bill would impose sweeping new sanctions against Tehran if it fails either to comply with the terms of the Nov. 24 accord or reach a comprehensive accord within one year. Such sanctions would also take effect if Iran conducts a test for ballistic missiles with a range exceeding 500 kms or if it is found to have directly or by proxy supported a terrorist attack against U.S. individuals or property.

    While the bill’s supporters insist that those provisions will strengthen the administration’s hand in negotiations over a comprehensive agreement, critics, including administration officials, argue that they violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the Nov. 24 agreement and would, if passed, open up Washington to charges by its P5+1 partners, as well as Iran, of bad faith.

    The bill also requires that any final agreement include, among other things, “dismantlement of Iran’s enrichment …capabilities” – a condition that Tehran has already declared a deal-breaker.

    And it calls for Washington to provide military and other support to Israel if its government “is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapon program” – a provision that was denounced on the Senate floor by Intelligence Committee chairwoman, Dianne Feinstein, as “let(ting) Israel determine when and where the U.S. goes to war.” In a detailed speech Tuesday, she also described the bill as facilitating a “march to war.”

    All of these provisions have lent credibility to the administration’s charge that the main purpose of the legislation is to sabotage the Nov. 24 deal and the negotiations, rather than support to them.

    When first introduced nearly a month ago, the bill was co-sponsored by 26 senators, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, apparently in order to give it a bipartisan cast. But all but three of the additional 33 co-sponsors are Republicans, thus making it an increasingly partisan issue.

    Eleven Democratic committee chairs, including Feinstein and Senate Armed Services Committee chief Carl Levin, have come out against a vote on the bill, as has Reid’s deputy, Majority Whip **** Durbin, who, like Reid, normally defers to AIPAC’s wishes.

    In recent days, a number of other influential voices have come out in opposition to the bill. Bill Clinton’s second-term national security adviser, Sandy Berger, warned that a vote on the legislation now raised the “risk of upending the negotiations before they start,” while former Sen. **** Lugar, until last year the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, told a Yale University audience Wednesday that Congress “ought to give diplomacy a chance.”

    Similarly, former Pentagon chief Bob Gates, currently touting his memoir of his years under Obama and President George W. Bush, warned Tuesday that enacting new sanctions would be “a terrible mistake” and a “strategic error.”

    Several prominent newspapers, including the New York Times, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, USA Today, the Denver Post, and the strongly pro-Israel Washington Post, have also editorialised against the bill in recent days.

    The bill, moreover, appears to have created dissension within the organised Jewish community, which ordinarily rallies behind AIPAC’s legislative agenda.

    While progressive Jewish groups, notably J Street and Americans for Peace Now, joined 60 other grassroots religious, humanitarian, anti-war, and civic-action organisations in actively opposing the bill by flooding Democratic senators with emails, petitions and phone calls over the past few days, more conservative Jewish groups and influential opinion-shapers, such as New York Times columnists Tom Friedman and Jeffrey Goldberg, also defended the administration’s opposition.

    Rabbi Jack Moline, the director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), publicly accused AIPAC of using “strong-arm tactics, essentially threatening people that if they didn’t vote a particular way, that somehow that makes them anti-Israel or means the abandonment of the Jewish community.”

    “The bill before the U.S. Senate …will not achieve the denuclearization of Iran,” Goldberg, a self-described “Iran hawk,” wrote in his Bloomberg column this week. “What it could do is move the U.S. closer to war with Iran and, crucially, make Iran appear – even to many of the U.S.’s allies – to be the victim of American intransigence, even aggression.”

    http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/01/israe...tions-bid-now/

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