Monday, January 13, 2014

More Of The Same

"Unprecedented sanctions and tough diplomacy helped to bring Iran to the negotiating table.
"Imposing additional sanctions now will only risk derailing our efforts to resolve this issue peacefully, and I will veto any legislation enacting new sanctions during the negotiation.
"For the sake of our national security and the peace and security of the world, now is the time to give diplomacy a chance to succeed."
U.S. President Barack Obama 

"The foundations for a coherent, robust and smooth implementation ... have been laid."
European Union negotiator Catherine Ashton
File picture of the heavy-water plant in Arak The IAEA last visited the Arak plant in August 2011
Well, thank heavens for that foundation having found a robust implementation. At least to the satisfaction of the Security Council member-states and Germany. What a relief that they can look forward to relaxing the tension, that if and when matters progress as the best-laid plans of mice and men aspire to, there will no longer be any of those unpleasant disagreements, with Britain, France and the United States pushing China and Russia to accept sanctions against Iran.

All is on the cusp of being forgiven. Perhaps also forgotten, in the sense that what they don't collectively know, won't bother them. Until such time, unfortunately, as revelations bring the stubbornly avoided realization that they'd been had. And, of course, by extension, the world community, or at least that portion of the world community that concerns itself with the insanity of world leaders whose regimes represent abusive threat writ large, with a penchant for inciting to terrorism, being in possession of atomic weapons.

Those U.S. lawmakers, for example, who are not in the Obama administration camp and find themselves discouraged and more than a little worried about the way the sanctions have been tenderly lifted for some relief to the nuclear-seeking regime, warning of their intention to press for further sanctions. Tougher ones, they insist, rather than any loosening of controls. The lens through which they view the country's insistence on its right to enriched uranium for domestic purposes is not quite a rosy as the administration's nor the EU's.
On 23 November 2013, Iran and the E3+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) concluded the Joint Plan of Action.. In return for the easing of economic sanctions, Iran agreed a series of restrictions on its nuclear program. As part of the wider ranging agreement, Iran agreed to: only feed UF6 into 4 of FFEP’s 16 enrichment cascades, not enrich Uranium above 5% for 6 months, not install any new types of centrifuges at FFEP for 6 months, downblend half of the 20% U-235 it has produced at FFEP to 5% U-235, and allow IAEA inspectors daily access to FFEP.
Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi has been downright euphoric over the agreement. Iran, according to the country's IRNA news agency, is prepared to grant the International Atomic Energy Agency unrestricted access to its nuclear facilities and centrifuge production lines in confirmation of its compliance. In exchange, he emphasized, $4.2-billion in oil revenues frozen through sanctions to be released. The value of the lifted sanctions is held to be $7-billion by the U.S. administration.

That will certainly go far to aiding the country in its mission. That would be the mission it insists it has no interest in achieving, the mission it denies, denies, denies. Which the G5+1 is very well aware of, but prefers not to dwell on since it is rather inconvenient to their closer purpose which is to damp down the tension and patiently allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to lead it gently sleepwalking into the fantasy it feels most comfortable within.

Once again Iran has dutifully -- and with malice aforethought but screened from public scrutiny other their continued oblique declarations of destroying Israel, therefore a nuclear device would come in right handy -- agreed that yes, yes of course it will limit uranium enrichment to 5%; reactor grade. How enrichment ever got ratcheted up to 20% is a matter of perplexing mystery to Tehran; those upgraded, technically advanced, faster spinning centrifuges at Fordow kind of slipped past them.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency also reported on Sunday that under the deal's agreed-upon terms, Tehran guarantees it will restrain from attempting to attain nuclear arms "under any circumstances" (except for...). As a little jolt to remind his interlocutors of just how volatile Tehran remains in its responses to outside interference, Mr. Araghchi stressed that his country could resume production of 20% uranium in the space of "one day", if it should decide to choose that route.

Iran now also will have access to parts for its civilian aviation, petrochemical and automotive industries. It will be permitted to import and export gold. Iran also will have access to international humanitarian and medical supplies, though the use of American banks remain restricted, and the majority of sanctions are to remain in place for the present. Majority of sanctions? Why bother?

This appears a question that some U.S. lawmakers are asking themselves as they propose blacklisting a number of Iranian industrial sectors and to ban banks and companies around the world from the American market should they seek to aid Iran export any more oil. One can only wonder if Turkey is listening, the NATO member which has gone out of its way to do all in its underhanded power to sidestep sanctions.

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