US Bullying Iran to Capitulate in Nuclear Talks
by Stephen Lendman
Iran nuclear talks continue without resolution - whether possible looks tenuous at best. US bullying bears full responsibility.
America doesn't negotiate. It demands - at the same time blaming others for its do what we say or else position.
"(W)e are not going to sit at the negotiating table forever," John Kerry blustered on Thursday. "If tough decisions don't get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this process" - code language saying resolution depends on Iran's capitulation to outrageous, unacceptable US demands.
On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Western P5+1 countries (mainly America) of "shift(ing) positions and (making) excessive demands."
They've "made the negotiations difficult," he said. "We want a dignified agreement and negotiations, and we will continue to negotiate. The deal would be within reach should the other side seek an honorable and balanced accord."
"There are always new ideas on any negotiating table. It is important for everybody to stick to what we have already agreed, and to move forward based on that."
An unnamed Iranian official close to talks said Washington and other Western nations keep moving the bar - changing what was previously agreed on.
"We see certain changes in the positions particularly just last night…on a lot of issues unfortunately," the source said. "There was an approach that was acceptable…but then all of a sudden people came up with some view for changing ideas, and this makes it rather difficult."
At this stage, talks could "go either way," the source added. Success or failure hangs in the balance. A deal is within reach if US-led Western nations "abandon unnecessary or delusional objectives and just move forward with what is at hand (and) achievable." Instead, they're pushing things into "deadlock."
Another unnamed negotiator said Iran offered "constructive proposals" to resolve remaining differences - so far not accepted.
Tehran won't be coerced into a deal harming its interests - nor should it. Washington is playing hardball to pressure it to agree to unreasonable demands no responsible government would accept.
Meanwhile, in July 7 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, top Pentagon officials voiced opposition to lifting the arms embargo on Iran as part of sanctions relief.
Joint Chiefs chairman General Martin Dempsey said "under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking."
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wants Tehran kept "isolated" and prevented from improving its military capability. "Whatever happens as far as an agreement over the nuclear program with respect to Iran is concerned, I think we…have a clear duty in the Department of Defense, first of all, to defend our friends and allies…especially Israel," he said.
In mid-June, Iranian lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a motion to spare no efforts to safeguard the nation's nuclear rights and achievements. The measure passed 185 to two with four abstentions.
It called for lifting all sanctions immediately when or if a final deal is consummated. It approved conventional and regular IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities. It prohibits unrestricted access to its nuclear scientists, military sites, and sensitive non-nuclear facilities "under any pretext."
It affirms Iran's legitimate right to develop peaceful nuclear technology - including procurement, production and R & D. It refuses to sacrifice national sovereignty to unreasonable US-led Western demands.
As of now, talks are deadlocked. As long as Washington remains irresponsibly hardline, resolving things equitably won't happen.
Was that Obama's scheme all along - head-fake US good faith diplomacy followed by unacceptable hardline demands, blaming Iran for his duplicity when talks fail? We may know for sure within days.
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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