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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Iran Nuclear Talks Resume
08 Nov 2013
Iran Nuclear Talks Resume

by Stephen Lendman

November 7 and 8 talks are scheduled in Geneva. They continue where mid-October ones left off.

Previous rounds failed. It's hard imagining success this time. Iran's nuclear program is pretext. At issue is replacing its government.

Washington deplores independent ones. Regime change is planned. Obama is more duplicitous than George Bush.

John Kerry's dark side matches Hillary Clinton's. Wendy Sherman is  Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.

She heads Obama's Geneva negotiating team. She's militantly anti-Iranian. She lied to Congress.

Flynt and Hillary Leverett discussed it. She told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

"We know that deception is part of (Iran's) DNA."

If she said this about Israel, America's NATO partners or valued Middle East allies, she's be summarily fired.

She'd be banned from government service. She'd be denied lucrative private sector employment. She'd be banished to oblivion.

Unjustly vilifying a US enemy is standard practice. Anything less is unacceptable. Iran complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions.

Sherman lied claiming its Article IV doesn't let Tehran "pursue indigenous development of fuel-cycle capabilities, including uranium enrichment, under international safeguards," said the Leveretts.

Article IV states:

"(N)othing 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."

Iran has as much right as other NPT signatories. BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as well as 120 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members affirm Iran's right "to pursue indigenous safeguarded enrichment."

Four nations alone object: America, Britain, France and Israel. The Jewish state is a nuclear outlaw. It's been that way for decades.

It refuses to sign NPT. It has a formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenal. Discussing it is verboten.

"(D)enying non-weapons states' right of safeguarded enrichment amounts to…a shameless effort to rewrite the NPT unilaterally," said the Leveretts.

Sherman had more to say. She lied again claiming:

"It has always been the US position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all (and) doesn't speak to enrichment, period."

False! Earlier US policy affirmed the right to peaceful nuclear development. Doing so included indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities.

In 1968, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency head, William Foster, told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

"Neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of fissionable material in connection with a peaceful program would violate Article II so long as these activities were safeguarded under Article III."

Article II commits non-nuclear weapons states not to pursue their development. Article III requires they accept safeguards on their nuclear activities.

Sherman know this or should. In Senate testimony, she flat-out lied. She committed perjury.

She remains unaccountable. She represents Washington in Geneva. She's up to no good doing so.

Iran deplores nuclear weapons. It wants them all eliminated. On November 5, Tehran's UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said:

"The total elimination of these inhuman weapons is the only absolute guarantee against their threat or use."

"Before they consume us all together, we must consume them all together. This is not an option but a must. This is both our right and responsibility."

On November 6, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi called current talks a P5+1 group litmus test. They'll show whether equitable resolution is possible.

Believing it is a giant leap of faith. It's believing what never happened before. It's believing Obama intends ending decades of US hostility.

It's believing Israeli Lobby pressure won't intervene. It's believing what almost certainly won't happen regardless of what's publicly stated.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif urges "serious negotiations." He acknowledges they won't be easy. According to an unnamed senior US official:

"What we're looking for is a first phase, a first step, an initial understanding that stops Iran's nuclear program from moving forward and rolls it back for the first time in decades."

Details of Washington's intensions remain to be revealed. According to Haaretz, America "wants Iran to halt (its) nuclear program for six months in exchange for (minimal) economic relief."

A US official calls it a "first step." It's to buy time to negotiate a comprehensive agreement encompassing all components of Iran's program.

In return,"very limited, temporary, reversible sanctions relief" will be offered, he said.

If permanent resolution isn't achieved in six months, full economic sanctions will be reimposed.

According to National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan:

"The P5+1 is engaged in serious and substantive negotiations with Iran that offer the possibility of a verifiable diplomatic agreement that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."

"We are not going to comment on specifics. In general, the P5+1 is focused on developing a phased approach that in the first step halts Iran's nuclear program from moving forward and potentially rolls back parts of it."

"The first step would address Iran's most advanced nuclear activities, increase transparency so Iran will not be able to use the cover of talks to advance its program, and create time and space as we negotiate a comprehensive agreement."

"In exchange for concrete, verifiable measures to address the P5+1's concerns during the first step, the P5+1 would consider limited, targeted, and reversible relief that doesn't affect our core sanctions architecture."

It "would be maintained until there is a final, comprehensive, verifiable agreement that resolves the international community’s concerns."

America negotiates in bad faith. It's word isn't its bond. It systematically breaks promises. Obama broke every major one made.

From what's known, Washington wants phase one to involve levels and scope of Iran's uranium enrichment, reducing its stockpile, eliminating some operational centrifuges, and hardening monitoring procedures among other demands.

Specific details weren't released. Washington appears to be offering terms to refuse. In return for initial stiff demands likely to be hardened, it's offering crumbs on a temporary basis only.

Iran expressed sincere willingness to compromise. It won't relinquish its legitimate rights nor should it.

Israel wants Tehran's program entirely halted. It wants to be the region's sole nuclear power without saying so.

Whether two more days of talks prove productive remains to be seen. It bears repeating. It's hard imagining Obama plans ending decades of US hostility.

He hasn't so far in nearly five years. He maintains a military option. Iran's under no illusion. It's up to America to show good faith. President Rohani is willing to reciprocate in kind.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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