No Deal on Iran's Nuclear Program - So Far
by Stephen Lendman
Reports of a deal reached over the weekend were way premature. As of Monday morning Lausanne time, key unresolved issues remain ahead of a March 31 deadline.
It could be extended days or weeks if all parties agree. Deadlines aren't written in stone. They're easily changed based on circumstances.
The latest as this is written comes from a senior Iranian negotiator, saying:
"No agreement has been achieved, and there are still issues which need to be resolved."
"Instead of launching a media hype, the concerned parties should quit their excessive demands and take the strategic decision if they want an agreement or continued pressure."
On Sunday, John Kerry said he's uncertain if a deal can be reached during current talks.
Lifting sanctions, Iranian nuclear R&D allowed, and control of its enriched uranium stockpile remain key sticking points.
An unnamed source said "(b)oth sides will do their best (Monday) to find solutions for these issues."
According to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif:
"We have made progress in reaching acceptable solutions, but we still have to work on some important issues."
"The key to striking an agreement lies in this strategic choice that the other side should make: pressure and sanctions or interaction and agreement by the other side."
Throughout 18 months of talks, Washington is the main obstacle to resolving what never should have been negotiated in the first place.
The whole world knows Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. It has no military component.
No evidence suggests Tehran intends pursuing one. Its program is no different from dozens of other countries operating nuclear facilities.
Yet it alone is singled out for unacceptable pressure and demanded restrictions because of a combination of 36 years of US hostility plus the power of Israel and its Lobby influencing America's policy.
Iran showed great flexibility during talks. It's gone way out of its way to negotiate in good faith.
Concessions it made way exceed what it got back in return so far. It justifiably demands the right to operate its nuclear program as Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions allow.
It won't surrender its legitimate rights to unreasonable US demands. Nor should it.
Over the weekend, Zarif said Iran is "ready to make a good deal for all. We wait for our counterparts' readiness."
He and Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said Iranian negotiators will stay in Lausanne as long as needed.
Current talks began last Thursday. They continued over the weekend into Monday.
"Iranians have already made their choice: Engage with dignity," Zarif stressed.
"It's high time for the US and its allies to choose: pressure or agreement," he added.
The ball is clearly in Washington's court. It's up to Obama to decide if he wants a deal or not.
A previous article said his tenure so far has no positive achievements - nothing besides advancing America's ruthless agenda, handing the nation's wealth to rich elites already with too much, and cracking down hard on nonbelievers.
It's now put up or shut up time. Come to terms or walk away.
Even if agreement is reached, US history shows Iran has no guarantee it would stick.
America doesn't bargain in good faith. Its word isn't its bond.
It can't be trusted. Duplicity defines its agenda. It says one thing. It does another.
As long as Iran remains independent, US hostility won't change.
It's just a matter of time before Washington invents reasons to rescind terms agreed to.
Months of good faith Iranian efforts will have been wasted.
It's leadership knows what it's up against. Decades of deplorable US policy leave no doubt what to expect going forward.
Imperial powers are all take and no give. Washington wants unconditional Iranian surrender to US demands.
They're written in stone. They're longstanding. They won't change.
Chances for normalized US/Iranian relations ahead are virtually nil - not as long as neocons infest Washington and Israeli Lobby power owns Congress.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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