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28 June 2015

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Pirouz

Who know? U.S. and Israeli intelligence community state with a level of confidence there is no current nuclear weapons program in Iran and no decision has been made to implement one.

The example of Iraq, where inspectors' observations contributed intel towards the subsequent war against that country looms over the negotiations. So does Libya, where that country opened up its nuclear and military facilities only to be subjected to a NATO-effected regime change with disastrous results.

The Iranians will walk away, should the demand remain on issues such as access to non-nuclear military sites, "anywhere, anytime." Economically, that will make for a continuance of Iran's eastern trajectory and effectively constrain their market from Western goods. It will also hinder Western cooperation with Iran in the war against ISIL, as well as peace efforts in Yemen. This does not serve American interests in the region.

The Iranian military, like militaries anywhere, will not degrade their defense to such a vulnerable state.

For an excellent rendering on the Iranian perspective, last week the United States Army War College hosted Seyed Hossein Mousavian for a discussion on Iran's national security and the nuclear issue.

https://youtu.be/1-LlFo56Wic

turcopolier

Pirouz

"inspectors' observations contributed intel towards the subsequent war against that country." Baloney! USIC knew everything it needed to know about Iraq without the inspectors. That kind of paranoid thinking will get Iran wrecked. Libya's opening of its ineffective and worthless facilities meant nothing. Those who wished to avoid war with Iran will be greatly weakened by this. Natanyahu, Oren, McCain and Graham are celebrating. pl

Harper

I have been told for many months that the whole P5+1 deal will come down to a decision in Tehran at the very last moment. Clearly, some unambiguous demands were put on the table over the weekend, when Kerry returned to Vienna and was joined by Lavrov, Steinmeier and others. Zarif went back to Tehran for guidance. We are now down to crunch time, and my bet is that Tehran will take the deal. It would be sheer madness for them to walk away from a deal that they have expertly negotiated with a somewhat desperate Obama Team that is cognizant that the President is desperate for legacy, and has defined his legacy around three foreign policy late accomplishments: TPP, P5+1 and normalization with Cuba. That's really all he's got to show, other than killing Bin Laden, for nearly seven years in office. Dodd-Frank was a joke, that Wall Street has taken to the bank, Obamacare needs a great deal of repair before it actually works, and that may take years.

FB Ali

Why would Iran agree to conditions no other signatory of the Non-proliferation Treaty is required to observe?

It seems there is an exaggerated sense in the US of the deterrent value of the sanctions. If the negotiations collapse, Iran will turn towards Russia and China. They are likely to disregard the sanctions and establish increased trade with it. As will many other countries, some pro-West, such as India. If China ignores the sanctions regime, Pakistan is likely to follow suit.

HankP

Col. Lang -

This sounds more like last minute hardball negotiation tactics to me. Or possibly someone (Russia? China?) told them they have their back.

wisedupearly

also celebrating will be the guys with CONUS fracking rights.


robt willmann

This week will see 30 June 2015, an interesting date which is to be the conclusion of an agreement on Iran's nuclear power program (even though there already is one on that subject, the NPT), and is the deadline for the government of Greece to pay "money" on its debts to the International Monkey Business Fund (IMF), various "hedge funds" that bought Greek government debt at big discounts, and to who knows who else.

The London Review of Books edition for July 2015 has an article by former Marine and weapons inspector Scott Ritter about the Iran nuclear talks and takes the position that inspections to go anywhere at any time would not be necessary--

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n13/scott-ritter/we-aint-found-shit

I know I am repeating myself, but since the television networks, "talk radio", and other components of mass media will not do it, we will state what matters: the text of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which is here--

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/npt/text

https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/publications/documents/infcircs/1970/in
fcirc140.pdf

As probably one of the two most important treaties ever created, along with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, it is useful to read, and is only five pages long. Here is a good list of some definitions of terms and jargon used in treaties--

https://treaties.un.org/Pages/Overview.aspx?path=overview/glossary/page1_en.xml

Here are countries and states involved, and everybody knows which state is not on the list and has not declared its borders but which has plenty of nuclear weapons --

http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/npt

So that the people might know, Article 4, section 1 states--

"Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty."

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court the other day had to rewrite the due process clause of the 14th Amendment, and create out of thin air a new "constitutional right" for persons of the same sex to get a marriage license from the State (which means it is not a "right" but a "privilege", but never mind that) so that they can do so without discrimination, Iran has an actual treaty, agreed to and ratified by the U.S. and many others, that expressly says that the Persians can develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes "without discrimination".

Article 6 of the treaty says--

"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."

This is an "international obligation" of the U.S. From 1970 when the treaty went into effect until 2015 is how many years? During that time, what has the U.S. done to fulfill its "obligation" under the NPT to the "cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date" and to "nuclear disarmament...under strict and effective international control"?

And Article 7--

"Nothing in this Treaty affects the right of any group of States to conclude regional treaties in order to assure the total absence of nuclear weapons in their respective territories."

This has not been done in the Middle East, and the U.S. is not demanding that it be done, but it has been done by those "Latin Americans", who are Americans too, of course, and their treaty is here--

https://www.iaea.org/publications/documents/treaties/treaty-prohibition-nuclear-
weapons-latin-america-tlatelolco-treaty

The U.S., Britain, Israel, and perhaps others, who have initiated and continued this unnecessary and dangerous situation with Iran and nuclear power, would best heed the Biblical words in the seventh chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew, beginning at the first verse--

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye."

Amir

If war comes, it is better to keep the invading army in the dark than expose all as one presumes omniscience. If they know it all, they don't need to inspect then.

Angular resolution of satellite imaging and electronic spying is limited by laws of physics. The farther they are, the less knowledge they will have.

After UN resolutions, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Besix (Belgium's largest construction company, who was paid by GCC to harden the airports close to the frontline of Saddam's war with Iran) provided all the blue prints of the Iraqi military airports to the counter party. When the impressive video's of glide bombs going down the chimneys were shown, most of the success of it was due to the fact that the EXACT GPS coordinates of the buildings and their internal structures, were exposed by Besix to anti-Saddam coalition.

From Iranian side, there is understandably a lack of trust in the sincerity of Obama and the rest of his crowd. President Hopey-Changey has promised to many things to too many people too many times, without delivering any, to be trusted.

I very much regret that there will be no deal if Obama insists on his unilateral wishes but am happy that the sanctions have largely crumbled for several reasons:
- A large part of European governments are becoming aware that USG wants to fight Russia to Europe's last blood/$/Euro and will be less willing to pay even more for the latter's warmongering.
- The USG is sanctioning Russia and a dozen other countries and now also want to get into a fight with China. Basically, USG is sanctioning the whole world, thus cutting itself off from the markets.
- The intransigence of the USG's side is obvious to all and the blame will be put into their court.
- 81% of the world's GDP is outside the direct control of USG although they still exert a disproportionate indirect influence on part of it.

turcopolier

All

The eventual outcome will have nothing to do with; fairness, justice, laws, international politics, China, Russia (neither will fight the US for Iran), the opinion of minions of the US government. What will happen if Iran balks at a deal over inspections is that the Borg with its deep seated Zionism will take a harder and harder line that will be reflected in the media parts of the Borg. The Congressional aspects of the Borg will do he same thing and after 2016 the occupant of the WH will feel the emanations of the Borg and rotate in harmonic sympathy. Armies? A laughable thought, There would be no "smash and grab" if it comes to that. Sere will only be smash. pl

confusedponderer

From an Iranian hawk's POV inspections anywhere anytime will amount to a surrender by Iran in the absence of defeat.

That is made all the more acrimonious by the fact that the Izzies do have routinely played BS-as-intel-by-proxy to the IAEA to keep them on a fools errant and to perpetuate the sanctions. The most played up item so far, the laptop of doom, was a forgery, probably an Israeli one.

http://mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/iran-nuclear-alleged-studies-documents

So Iran is to expect to accept the IAEA to inspect the space under Khamenei's bed every odd week for asserted nuclear transgressions because someone told the IAEA there is a scoop hidden there? Because this is what you will get. The US would not accept that themselves.

One key point will be how to separate the chaff from the grain in intelligence the IAEA is fed, before anywhere any time inspections are being conducted, because the Izzies, Saudis and their surrogates will spoil wherever they can and will continue to throw shit at Iran in hope that at least some if it will stick.

The problem it seems to me is not so much Iran's untrustworthiness is US maximalist attitudes, part habitual, part to appease the pro-Israel people. It will be hard to sell that to the Iranians, and the Iranians will have a hard time selling it themselves.

Inspections anywhere anytime will be the exact same thing as the inspections in Iraq, a defeated nation. In Iraq there the power of the inspectors to go anywhere anytime and their reports to the absence of weapons or weapons programs was unable to prevent war later.

In that sense, while I think that you are right to point out that a deal without Inspections anywhere anytime will only make the nuts howl harder, and put more fervour into their throwing excrement, what you propose probably won't prevent war either, perhaps delay it because these loons really DO want to bomb Iran anyway, whether they surrender or not.

Because it never was abiout nukes or inspections, but regime change.

And if that's the case it doesn't matter whether Iran has nukes or not since we are then in the narrative zone where facts no longer matter. BS has a half life not much better than plutonium, and it is as easily weaponised. There are still people who believe that Saddam was behind 9/11 or that he had a nuclear weapons program in 2003.

In case of Iran, it will be asserted that they do have a program, ambiguities will be spun into dire threats, and once the loons start to howl in their echo changer again the call for war will be irresistible. Given time and a Republican president all else they need is another Curveball and the US Air Force and Navy.

Ursa Maior

In the light of the stiffening Russian (with probably Chinese backing) stance towards US hegemony, I would really be curious e.g has the S-300 system been delivered to Iran? Will the russians and/or chinese lift unanimously the sanctions after the dealine expires? How long other, yet not that powerful players of the international community, will play along the rules of a USG running amok?

In my opinion USG has only gained some time by cutting the forming russian-german chain, at the same time pushing the russians ito the chinese's arms.

confusedponderer

It could be a maneuver to allow both the US and Iran to save face over inspections. If that was that, the deal would be thus:

The Iranians agree to anywhere anytime inspections, while the US agree to a mere technicality, the pre-clearing of allegations that are to be investigated.

I.e. you can inspect anywhere anytime, but not based on informations coming from the local bum high on glue fumes about pod people, err, gazillions of secret centrifuges spinning in the basement of the Natanz facility or under Khamenei's bed or the Shed in Ahmadinejad's garden or the headquarters of the Quds force* (that is, from Israel, or the Saudis) - it has to be substantiated first.

If it was that it would be good.

* with the idea in mind to (a) humiliate the Iranians through such inspections forstering discontent and perhaps facilitating regime change or (b) as harassment to drive the Iranians out of the deal in anger or (c) just in order to create so much smoke through frequent wild goose chase type incidents that get a lot of publicity that people assume fire, laying the groundwork for a justification for later bombardment, when Obama is gone.

Because, and I agree with Pat, with the US and their lamentable propensity (exacerbated by Israel's partisans) to use coercion and force as a foreign policy tool of choice it is indeed more than likely that, if this doesn't work out, they end up bombing Iran to just for lack of a better idea.

turcopolier

CP et al

In a perfect world a failure to agree over an Iran deal would merely lead to more negotiations but this is not a perfect world. In the actual world, the Borg would increasingly take charge and a dance of death would be played out that would likely reach a climax in 2017 when a new president of either party would probably reach a political position in the US that would make war with Iran inevitable. I estimate the danger of Russia or China being willing to commit to decisive action in that case to be minimal. Mutual destruction with the US would be too high a price for them to risk. War with Russia is a much greater danger beginning in the Russian "near abroad." BTW, nothing that anyone is likely to provide Iran would stop a US attack with all strategic assets available. There would be no ground war and no attempt on the part of the US to occupy Iranian territory. Another BTW any talk about the situation being asymmetric and unfair is just sentimental moaning. The Iranians face a decision of great import to all. pl

ex-PFC Chuck

Maybe the extra second that will occur just before midnight on June 30 will make the difference of whether or not an agreement is reached. ;-)
http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/leapsec.html

confusedponderer

"In the actual world, the Borg would increasingly take charge and a dance of death would be played out that would likely reach a climax in 2017 when a new president of either party would probably reach a political position in the US that would make war with Iran inevitable."

You are right, and come to think of it, for that to happen it wouldn't even need to be a Republican president, a democratic President would be just as much part of the collective and subject to the same dynamics.

Marching to war on autopilot, because the collective wills it ... facts will be utterly immaterial to a decision to go to war in this case.

The mere fact of non-surrender coupled with the unprovability of the nonexistence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program will make sure of that the issue of PMD will be kept alive. The Borg will work themselves in a frenzy over this and ultimately lash out.

That is an truly frightening prospect, even without the potential for escalation to a war with Russia that you point out. Because US-Russia relations are suffering from the same debilitating defect.

Norbert M Salamon

Colonel:
Your view on the status of US demands vs. Iranian red lines poses a danger to the US in the great game of geopolitics IMHO.

The Us is presently stirring trouble with Russia[A super power, since it has the capability to destroy the US], stirring trouble with China[whose economy is probably larger than that of the US based on actual production sans financial games of bubble building]; stirring trouble with the citizens of the EU with the push to war vs. Russia, where the economy of the EU is endangered; stirring the collapse of the MENA by the creation of wide spread terrorism since the destruction of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

Now it seems to me that the US has not won any ingle war since WWII, and now attempts to get war against Iran, Russia and China, with other problems in EU land, MENA etc.
Sir, I think that the citizens of the US deserve a more rational government for their well being than what is promulgated by the demands on Iran, which has no nuclear arm production according to US, Israeli, Chines, and Russian spymasters.

LeaNder

"When "the impressive video's" of glide bombs going down the chimneys were shown"

I agree that was image-wise the most impressive since creative effort in war reporting, from the perspective of this observer. Not too long ago, I have seen the night-vision topic picked up in a European thriller script. Thus it seems to have left traces. Interestingly enough it was about a band of Afghan soldiers returning home and committing some high profile robberies. Thus the larger context someone would fit, a ;)s one source of inspiration. ;)

Matthew

FB Ali: By accepting the deal, Iran also risks the dreaded "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" trolling from the US Congress. It's a lot easier to start a war if Iran is caught "cheating."

BTW, as the EU is finding out from Greece today, people always have options. How do we know that if the talks collapse, the Iranians won't sign a separate deal with Russia and China?

Lots of uncertainty.

Babak Makkinejad

Nah, this is just a storm in a tea cup providing political cover for the US side - in my opinion - to be used when dealing with Israelis and Gulfies.

The main point of contention remain the schedule for dismantling of the sanctions regime against Iran.

turcopolier

matthew

"a separate deal with Russia and China?" A deal about what? pl

LeaNder

FB Ali, the West's Achilles' heel is surely the way we deal with Israel's program.

It feels Babak, as the prominent Iranian spokesperson here, has recently thrown the Pakista atomic threat into the scale, not directly but somewhat indirectly. Maybe I misread, maybe it was Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. There is India too.

On the other hand the extend to which Iran-Israel surfaces is an enigma to me. I haven't read Tritan Parsi's study, and am only vaguely aware of Israeli/concerned Jewish complaints about Iran's use of antisemitic propaganda down to usage in comic strips for kids.

I can understand Iranian fears based on a look at what happened concerning inspections of its next-door neighbor. Thus no, I wouldn't exactly reduce it to a conspiracy mindset only.

Matthew

BM: That is the issue. More Iranian oil and gas will be a big hit for us here in Texas. Our oil and gas business was the biggest job generator in the Union since 2009. We are now shedding jobs.

Babak Makkinejad

Do you think that the US war with Iraq would have been prevented had Saddam Hussein fully cooperated with the demand for access and inspection?

Matthew

CP; Never underestimate how important "surrender" is to us Americans. Japan and Germany are great friends because we defeated them utterly. However, it took us almost a century to work out an accommodation with Great Britain after the Draw of 1812.

Matthew

Col: They already have trading arrangements which could be enlarged massively to undercut the effect of sanctions.

BTW, if the Euro collapses by September, Iran may be a minor sideshow.

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