Monday, November 11, 2013

France Prevents Bad Nuke Deal With Iran

Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, appears to have single handedly prevented the Iran deal.

Iran Talks End without Deal - Laurence Norman and Jay Solomon

Iran and six world powers failed  to seal a deal to freeze Tehran's nuclear program, but both sides agreed they had made enough progress during the three days of talks to hold another round. A Western diplomat said the talks would resume on Nov. 20 and involve senior officials but not ministers.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there were points in a draft text that France couldn't support, including concerns about what Iran would do with its stockpile of enriched uranium and a French demand that Iran suspend all work on its nuclear reactor at Arak.
(Wall Street Journal)

Menendez: Move Forward with New Sanctions - Isobel Markham

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said the U.S. should move forward with new sanctions on Iran. "I think that the possibility of moving ahead with new sanctions, including wording it in such a way that if there is a deal that is acceptable that those sanctions could cease upon such a deal, is possible."

Menendez argued that increased sanctions would offer "an insurance for the United States to make sure that Iran actually complies with an agreement that we would want to see. At the same time it's also an incentive to the Iranians to know what's coming if you don't strike a deal."     

Menendez urged negotiators to stick to the deal put forward by the UN Security Council, which calls for Iran to cease all enrichment and accept stricter protocols on inspection and oversight of its nuclear facilities. A move away from this position, Menendez said, suggests "we seem to want the deal almost more than the Iranians. And you can't want the deal more than the Iranians, especially when the Iranians are on the ropes." 
(ABC News)

Israeli Official: U.S. Wants Iran Deal to Avoid Strike - Attila Somfalvi

A senior Israeli official addressed the nuclear talks between Iran and the West, saying "The Americans are anxious to sign a bad deal because they fear the only alternative left - sans deal - is a strike."

"There's no doubt that if they sign now, Iran will turn into a threshold state and there won't be any deal that could stop Iran from developing its nuclear plan."
(Ynet News)


Israel Reacts with Alarm - Natan B. Sachs

The common view from Jerusalem reflects a combination of short-term relief over the French resolve, and a very deep concern over the new and potentially dramatic rift with the U.S. administration.

Discussions in Israel suggest the Americans have been over-eager to reach a deal and had allowed the terms to erode significantly, rather than Iran feeling pressured to close a diplomatic deal in light of the biting sanctions. This plays into a common narrative in the region of a U.S. administration eager to find any diplomatic way out of a confrontation.
The writer is a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.
(Brookings Institution)

Oppose the Deal on Iran - Alan M. Dershowitz

The U.S. is leading the noble efforts to achieve a diplomatic breakthrough to prevent Iran from having the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. Yet the deal offered to Iran - to soften some sanctions in return for a promise by the mullahs to preserve the status quo with regard to their nuclear program - does not serve the interest of peace.

Were Iran to use the current diplomatic efforts as a cover to buy time to make a preventive military attack unrealistic, this would indeed be our "Chamberlain moment," a replication of the time when the idealistic but naive British prime minister made a bad deal with the Nazis in a desperate but futile effort to avoid deploying the military option against Hitler's growing power.

To weaken the sanctions regime now, in exchange for a promise to maintain the status quo, would be bad diplomacy, poor negotiation and a show of weakness precisely when a show of strength is called for. 

We Must Not Capitulate to Iran - Con Coughlin

Thankfully it has been left to the French to demonstrate that not everyone taking part in the Geneva talks is gullible enough to accept the Iranian promises of good behavior at face value.


LHwrites said...

This is all reasonable and has played out in the public view. I disagree with the last point, though. America is not anxious to sign a bad deal because the only alternative is a strike. First, as we have seen with these punishing sanctions, the only alternative at this point isn't a strike. Second, a bad or weak deal makes a strike more likely in the future. What America is currently doing is trying to impress upon Iran that good behavior could be rewarded, just as they have shown the last 5 years, that bad behavior will be punished.

Bruce said...

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out in the next few weeks. At this point, it appears that France has played the hero.