Iranian Nuclear Program Framework Deal: Hold the Cheers
by Stephen Lendman
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced all parties agreed on framework principles.
Enough agreement to let further negotiations continue toward trying to reach final resolution by June 30.
Despite upbeat comments, much remains to be accomplished. Important details are unresolved.
Talks will continue with no guarantee of success. Congressional neocon lunatics, Israel and its US Lobby intend going all-out to prevent normalizing relations with Iran. More on this below.
Much of what was agreed on remains confidential. The devil is always in the details - perhaps enough to prevent final resolution ahead. What's known calls for:
- removing all Security Council imposed political, economic, financial, and nuclear-related sanctions as well as those imposed by America and EU nations;
- P5+1 countries committed to refrain from imposing new nuclear-related sanctions on Iran as long as agreement terms aren't violated;
- all Iranian nuclear facilities will remain operating; none will be shut down or suspended - including Natanz, Fordow, Isfahan and Arak;
- uranium enrichment will continue inside Iranian territory;
- industrial fuel production to run Iranian nuclear plants will continue;
- a nuclear enrichment joint action plan covers a 10-year period; it permits over 5,000 centrifuge machines to keep producing enriched uranium up to a 3.67% level - a major reduction 19,000 existing ones;
- Iran can either use its enriched stockpile to produce nuclear fuel or swap it for uranium in international markets;
- R&D on advanced centrifuge machines will continue, as well as work on IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 machines during the 10-year period of agreement;
- Fordow will be transformed into a research center for nuclear science and physics; over 1,000 centrifuges will be kept at this facility, as well as two centrifuge cascades kept operating;
- about half of Fordow's operations will be involved in advanced R&D, as well as production of stable isotopes with important industrial, agricultural and medical science applications;
- Arak's heavy water reactor will be redesigned for increased efficiency and greatly reduced plutonium production;
- terms of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty's Safeguards Agreement will be ratified by Iran's parliament and implemented - granting IAEA inspectors greater monitoring authority;
- Iran will have access to global markets through international trade, finance, energy, as well as obtaining and sharing technology;
- negotiations will continue toward achieving a Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action by June 30 - to be adopted by Security Council resolution if and when completed;
- terms if agreed on will be binding all UN member states;
- they'll be adopted under the UN Charter's Chapter 7, Article 41, stating:
"The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures."
"These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations."
- previous anti-Iranian Security Council resolutions will be rescinded;
- if at any time Washington and/or EU nations claim Iran breached terms agreed to, "sanctions will snap back into place;"
- besides implementing all terms agreed on, Iran must "address the IAEA's concerns about possible (nonexistent) military dimensions" of its nuclear program.
The same scheme was used against Saddam Hussein. Bush officials demanded he prove a negative regarding nonexistent WMDs. Compliance was impossible. War followed.
Thursday's framework agreement is a small step ahead of major remaining hurdles to be overcome to resolve longstanding issues over Iran's nuclear program.
AIPAC signaled its action plan going forward. It intends intensive congressional lobbying, saying:
"Concerns that the new framework announced today by the P5+1 could result in a final agreement that will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state and encourage a nuclear arms race in the Middle East."
"Iran’s long history of cheating on its international obligations and its leading role in sponsoring terrorism and violating human rights should disqualify it from possessing the infrastructure for a nuclear weapons program."
Fact: No evidence whatever suggests Iran intends developing nuclear weapons.
Fact: Its government is a leading proponent of a nuclear weapons-free region.
Fact: Israel is the Middle East's only nation known to have a menacing nuclear weapons arsenal.
Fact: Western nations hypocritically ignore its major threat to world peace.
Fact: No evidence suggests Iran violates international law or treaties it agrees to.
Fact: America and Israel are known major international scofflaws.
Fact: Claims about Iranian terrorism and human rights violations are Big Lies.
Fact: America and Israel are the world's leading terror states and human rights violators.
Fact: Iran has as much right to develop its legitimate nuclear program as dozens of other nations not criticized by P5+1 countries, Israel or others.
AIPAC operates illegally. It's an unregistered foreign agent representing Israel.
It works against the interests of all peace-loving people worldwide.
It wants Congress given final say over any eventual nuclear agreement reached with Iran.
It endorses S. 615: The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015.
Initial language later softened without changing its intent called for supporting Israel if it feels "compelled (to take) military action in legitimate self-defense against a nuclear threat from Iran."
Current language calls for "revers(ing) (Iran's) illicit nuclear infrastructure and permit(ting) on-site and short-notice inspections."
Initial language stipulated "dismantl(ing)" Iran's "illicit nuclear infrastructure" and maintaining "continuous, around-the-clock" monitoring.
Nonbinding "sense of Congress" stipulations include:
Reinstituting frozen sanctions if no deal is reached by July 6.
New sanctions on Iran's energy sector without resolution by August 3.
Countries buying Iranian oil would have to reduce purchases by September 7 if no deal is reached.
Additional Iranian officials will be sanctioned without resolution by October 5.
Foreign banks doing business with Iran's central bank or other Iranian financial institutions will be sanctioned if no deal by November 2.
Additional sanctions will be imposed on other "strategic sectors" of Iran's economy if no resolution by December 7 - Including automotive, construction, engineering and mining ones.
Legislative language prevents Obama from waving sanctions until Congress has "30 days of continuous session" to review any agreement reached.
In January, Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking Democrat Robert Menendez lied at a hearing titled Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Status of Talks and the Role of Congress:"
Saying "Iranians are playing for time. (They're) deceiv(ing) the international community and violat(ing) UN Security Council resolutions to arrive within weeks of achieving nuclear break-out capacity."
No evidence supports these or similar accusations. Big Lies about Iran's nuclear program substitute for hard truths.
On Thursday, Obama and Netanyahu discussed framework terms agreed on.
Unsurprisingly, the Israeli prime minister repeated his Big Lie about them posing a "grave danger to Israel, the region and the world."
"This deal will legitimize the Iranian nuclear program, strengthen the Iranian economy and bolster the Iranian aggression and terror across the Middle East and beyond," he ranted.
"Such a deal will not block Iran's path to the bomb. To the contrary, it will pave it."
Terms agree to will increase chances for regional nuclear proliferation and war, he added.
"The alternative is to…increase the pressure on Iran until a better agreement is reached."
Netanyahu wants Iran denied the right to develop its peaceful nuclear program.
He wants current sanctions maintained. He wants tougher ones imposed. He wants a major rival eliminated. He wants unchallenged Israeli regional dominance.
Israel's security and intelligence officials will meet over the weekend to discuss how they intend responding to Iranian nuclear agreement terms reached.
Expect all-out efforts to sabotage things going forward - including bogus claims about Iran violating terms agreed on.
Perhaps a major false flag wrongfully blamed on Iran. Possible military action if other alternatives fail.
Most important is longstanding US policy toward Iran. It bears repeating what other articles stressed.
Washington tolerates no independent governments. It wants regimes in charge it controls.
It wants all nations serving US interests. It wages naked aggression to accomplish objectives not achieved other ways.
Longstanding US/Iranian relations overall remain unchanged - no matter what happens ahead on Tehran's nuclear program.
America's sordid deal-making history shows it can't be trusted. It says one thing. It does another.
Iran has every reason for concern. No matter how well it complies with nuclear terms agreed on, Washington and Israel will likely find ways to sabotage its good faith.
Expect anti-Iranian hostility to continue. Given longstanding US/Israeli belligerence, possible war may follow.
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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