Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2013

A Temporary Deal With Iran

There is now a temporary deal between the U.S. (and some sideshows) and Iran about some reduction of illegal U.S. sanctions against Iran in exchange for some freeze of legal Iranian industrial nuclear activities. Since March secret negotiations were held between the Obama administration and Iran to achieve this break through. But it is dubious that the deal is a real change of course. The White House "fact sheet" on it is still typically condescending.

Some preliminary thoughts:

- The deal is limited to six month and chances are that no permanent deal will follow. We will likely be back to the usual animosities and renewed calls for war some six month from now. There are many who do not want a more permanent deal and they will do their best to prevent one. When, in six month, the U.S. will stop adhering to the agreement Iran will be blamed of breaking it. This clause in the "Fact Sheet" is the decisive one:

Specifically the P5+1 has committed to:

• Not impose new nuclear-related sanctions for six months, if Iran abides by its commitments under this deal, to the extent permissible within their political systems.

Translated: Congress has ways and means to increase sanctions and thereby break this deal and will likely do so.

- A much better deal, from the U.S. perspective, could have been had in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

- While the White House claims that the deal does not accept Iran's "right to enrich" it factually does. Also recall what Kerry thought about this issue some four years ago:

John Kerry, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee and the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee, told the Financial Times in an interview that Iran had a right to uranium enrichment – a process that can produce both nuclear fuel and weapons grade material.The US and the world’s other big powers have repeatedly demanded that Tehran suspend enrichment ...“The Bush administration [argument of] no enrichment was ridiculous . . . because it seemed so unreasonable to people,” said Mr Kerry, citing Iran’s rights as a signatory of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. “It was bombastic diplomacy. It was wasted energy. It sort of hardened the lines, if you will,” he added. “They have a right to peaceful nuclear power and to enrichment in that purpose.”...

- The deal and any possible follow on only came through because the U.S. needs to change its foreign policy focus from the Middle East to Asia. For lack of resources and capacity the U.S. can only do so after achieving some balance in the Middle East. All issues the U.S. has with the Middle East are in some form influenced by Iran. It simply can no longer be ignored. The "pivot to Asia" which the U.S. needs to counter China necessitates a "pivot towards Iran".

- If followed up soon there is a chance that this deal will lead to some other deal that solves the situation in Syria.

Posted by b on November 24, 2013 at 5:33 UTC | Permalink


Very good analysis but one points needs further clarification:

Translated: Congress has ways and means to increase sanctions and thereby break this deal and will likely do so.

Yes and no. Yes congress can pass laws to increase sanction but no, they will not be laws until Obama signs them into effect.

So Congress can do little without the president's approval.

Posted by: MikeA | Nov 24 2013 6:31 utc | 1

@MikeA - the way congress would doe this is an amendment to the defense budget bill. That one will not get vetoed.


Full text of the agreement via Farsnews (pdf)

First read: Iran gave a lot of concrete steps for a limited time in exchange of little sanction relief and lots of future promises for a final deal which may be unlikely to be ever fulfilled.

Posted by: b | Nov 24 2013 7:00 utc | 2

I've read what Iran's media says and US "Fact Sheet", and its obviously not a good (non-)deal.

This reminds me a lot of 2005 similar (non-)deal with the same Rouhani, heavy concessions from Iran (with great difficulty to roll back) with no real concessions to speak-off from 5+1.

While West can at any time at their discretion to revert and increase the sanctions (as b fears), but they dont even have to - all sanctions which really hurt Iran are already in place and there wont be any relief on them.

Fast forward 6 months, Iran dismantled or halted a big parts of the program, all hurting sanctions are still there, what concessions Iran could offer to remove remaining sanctions? They have nothing left to offer while keeping any semblance of civilian nuclear program!

As US document says: "The set of understandings also includes an acknowledgment by Iran that it must address all United Nations Security Council resolutions" - and that means halting all enrichment altogether, with intrusive inspections of conventional military facilities to spy on, that what USrael will keep demanding, - back to the square one.

Bottom line:

Iran loses in any case. If they follow through massive concessions and get no actual relief now, they wont have anything to offer for 2nd step, thus no relief in the future as well (until West changes its attitude).

If no relief and Iran restarts the program (after wasting so much time, like in 2005), it will be seen as non-compliance and more sanctions will follow (as if there is anything much left to sabotage).

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2013 7:21 utc | 3

Iran describes deal as a great success over the "Zionist regime"

The fire of conflicts in the region was prevented and the plots of the ill-wishers of the Iranian nation were foiled and they saw that they can’t prevent manifestation of the realities about the Iranian nation with lies, hues and cries and deception.”

“This is a great success that the attempts made by the Zionist regime’s leaders to misrepresent Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and the Iranian people’s face were foiled,” he said.

Posted by: Calig | Nov 24 2013 7:42 utc | 4

After reading:

It doesnt sound nearly as bad as White House document, yet Iran has to undergo severe concessions with only a hope of West's goodwill in the undefined future. Iran should know better than that. 5+1 havent promised anything outside of tiny temporary relief which will have only minor positive impact on Iran.

Unless West actually changes its stance, this deal is as bad as 2005 one. West will pocket Iran's concessions while giving nothing worthwhile in return, while holding Iran accountable to carry on these concessions anyway, else non-compliance.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2013 7:44 utc | 5

Again, I'd look at the role that Lavrov is playing. Iran is bending over backwards to be conciliatory and after six months, Russia can help unwind the sanctions that it helped impose when Iran seemed to be disrupting the status quo. Now that Russian vs. Nato aims have diverged almost completely, it's in Russia's interest to strengthen the Iranian economy and state to assist Syria and counter the Saudis.

Posted by: biklett | Nov 24 2013 8:39 utc | 6

I think that some of you are missing the bigger picture, which is Iran's full re-integration back into the International Community.

6 months isn't long enough to achieve anything significant, whether that's a positive effect on the Iranian economy through the partial relief of sanctions, or a negative effect on the Iranian nuclear programme. Nothing is irreversible after only 6 months, when both sides will again come together to agree on further steps.

These are confidence building measures as part of a wider process; a road map towards re-integration. Otherwise, what would be the point? To kick the can down the road for another 6 months? Then what?

I am optimistic. The hypothetical scenario of Iran acquiring the bomb is the stick that Israel has given the International Community to beat Iran with. This needs to stop.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 24 2013 10:12 utc | 7

I wouldn't dismiss the deal as 'temporary, back to confrontation in 6 months, Iran gets nothing'. Iran does get $4.2 billion and it gets positive ("Not a pariah anymore") PR, which it can leverage into to better relations with other countries individually.

The broader take might be the "bridge too far" concept regarding U.S.-based imperialism. Limits people! Can't have everything.

In sum, without Russia and China on board, Western sanctions have limits, and so what do you do? This might be the first step toward acceptance of Iran as part of that small club of nations (Russia, China) that the West grudgingly allows to be sovereign.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 24 2013 10:16 utc | 8

@Pat Bateman | 7

"which is Iran's full re-integration back into the International Community."

* Iran never left International Community, 2/3 of World countries support Iran.

* Speaking of West as "International Community", I dont see any re-integration either. Full blockade remains, oil and finance. If West decided (big question mark) to drop regime change idea, its up to them to make the change and not Iran.

"These are confidence building measures as part of a wider process; a road map towards re-integration. Otherwise, what would be the point? To kick the can down the road for another 6 months? Then what?"

It was never about confidence, transparency and other such BS, it was always about regime change. Iran is more compliant with NPT than US ever was.

And "what would be the point?" - exactly the same as before, - regime change. Sabotage Iran and its economy as much as possible till they surrender, or suffering people raise up against their government. So far it havent worked, but I wouldnt bet on West giving up on their goal just yet.

This deal is similar to 2005. If you were interested about it back then, you know how it ended. And all other possible deals which went out of the window since it was never about nuclear program or "confidence" or "re-integration" in the first place.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2013 10:33 utc | 9

9) No, this is the deal

US releases $8bn of Iran's blocked assets

Speaking to IRNA, he said the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany - in Geneva Sunday morning, is an opening up of Iran's economic relations with the world

Do you think Western politicians manage to curb business after this?

P.S. Of course "the West" did notice they isolated themselves from the world and not Iran, don't you think?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2013 10:53 utc | 10

Most of the most damaging sanctions have been imposed unilaterally by the United States - if a proper deal is done, are the other 194 countries going to want to enforce them for the United States particularly when the United States or United States companies have possibly taken advantage of them to expand their business interests (see GM takeover of Peugeot-Citroen for one possible example). I doubt it. If the United States refuses a deal, the sanctions regime will disintegrate.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 24 2013 11:48 utc | 11

The Geneva deal releases just over $4bn in Iranian oil sales revenue from frozen accounts, and suspends restrictions on the country's trade in gold, petrochemicals, car and plane parts.

In return, Iran undertakes to restrict its nuclear activities. Over the next six months it has agreed to:

• stop enriching uranium above 5%, reactor-grade, purity-dilute its stock of 20%-enriched uranium or convert it to oxide, which makes it harder to enrich further. The medium-enriched uranium, in its hexafluoride gas form is relatively easy to turn into weapons-grade material used in a weapon, so it is a major proliferation concern.

• not to increase its stockpile of low-enrichment uranium.

• freeze its enrichment capacity by not installing any more centrifuges, leaving over half of its existing 16,000 centrifuges inoperable.

• not to fuel or to commission the heavy water reactor it is building in Arak or build a reprocessing plant that could produce plutonium from the spent fuel.

• accept more intrusive nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including daily visits to some facilities.

This is from the Guardian. Usually, the devil is in details and how it is going to play-out is anybody guess. In certain extent I see this as a desperate attempt of both sides to get out from impasse that they have found themselves politically and diplomatically. Each had own reason and interest to sign this "deal".

"- The deal and any possible follow on only came through because the U.S. needs to change its foreign policy focus from the Middle East to Asia."

Well, I somewhat disagree with this, the US is lost case in Asia. Just consider this: China has extended its air-defense zone to East China Sea and now it is over disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku) islands. China is going to start trade of crude oil in own currency - yuan, at Shanghai Futures Exchange. Meaning that dollar the fundament of the US might is eroding bit by bit and they can't do anything about it.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 12:54 utc | 12

full text is here:

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 13:17 utc | 13

From The Guardian:

The Geneva deal releases just over $4bn in Iranian oil sales revenue from frozen accounts, and suspends restrictions on the country's trade in gold, petrochemicals, car and plane parts.

An important line there is the mention of trading in Gold. You will recall Iran was bartering its oil sales to India/China amoung others. In exchange for oil they were just shipping goods or in China's case building infastructure. Ability to trade in Gold allows Iran to build up reserves, which would in turn stabilise Iran's currency.

In a larger point. Once the sanctions regime starts to collapse (as is happening now) there will be a stampede in Asia to get "the foot in the door first" as quickly as possible. Agree with B that the US Empire needs to get out off the quicksand of the Middle East and that is whats driving this. Salon just had an article on China overtaking the US as the worlds largest economy by 2016 (of course what the article doesn't mention is that if you take the EU as one entity that is the World Largest Economy) making the US number 3 by 2016.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 24 2013 13:20 utc | 14

Funny, on the other hand Obama said this:

Restricted access to the U.S. financial system.

· All sanctions on over 600 individuals and entities targeted for supporting Iran’s nuclear or ballistic missile program remain in effect.

· Sanctions on several sectors of Iran’s economy, including shipping and shipbuilding, remain in effect.

· Sanctions on long-term investment in and provision of technical services to Iran’s energy sector remain in effect.

· Sanctions on Iran’s military program remain in effect.

· Broad U.S. restrictions on trade with Iran remain in effect, depriving Iran of access to virtually all dealings with the world’s biggest economy.

· All UN Security Council sanctions remain in effect.

· All of our targeted sanctions related to Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, its destabilizing role in the Syrian conflict, and its abysmal human rights record, among other concerns, remain in effect.

I do not believe this is for a hardliner crowd, it is same bunch of lunatics, it is rather the imperial hubris. It reminds me on Bush's statement when he said "I will never apologize to Iran" or something like it.

So we have (still) unilateral US sanctions in place of the power which is less and less relevant. Iran will find spare part for its aging fleet of jets elsewhere, trough third countries. For the US based hedge-fund managers (like the one from JP Morgan) Iran still is going to be distant country.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 13:34 utc | 15

Like they say in school yard, the FUKUS ( France, UK and US) got caught with their pants down in a quagmire for the free Syria that they need Iran to get some relief in the ME. France, especially, wants to be a player in that region for commercial sake, BAE and the US defense industry are making billions and has been courting the Sunni kingdoms whilst maintaining the "guilt" relationship with Israel. The EU wants to trade with Iran, like it or not.

Posted by: Yul | Nov 24 2013 13:41 utc | 16

It is ridiculous that figure of $4B, which is next to nothing when we put everything in context. As far as I know the amount of the Iranian money frozen overseas is like $100B.

The west just love to play with somebody else's flesh and assets.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 13:44 utc | 17

Maintaining Economic Pressure on Iran and Preserving Our Sanctions Architecture

During the first phase, we will continue to vigorously enforce our sanctions against Iran, including by taking action against those who seek to evade or circumvent our sanctions.

· Sanctions affecting crude oil sales will continue to impose pressure on Iran’s government. Working with our international partners, we have cut Iran’s oil sales from 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2012 to 1 million bpd today, denying Iran the ability to sell almost 1.5 million bpd. That’s a loss of more than $80 billion since the beginning of 2012 that Iran will never be able to recoup. Under this first step, the EU crude oil ban will remain in effect and Iran will be held to approximately 1 million bpd in sales, resulting in continuing lost sales worth an additional $4 billion per month, every month, going forward.

· Sanctions affecting petroleum product exports to Iran, which result in billions of dollars of lost revenue, will remain in effect.

· The vast majority of Iran’s approximately $100 billion in foreign exchange holdings remain inaccessible or restricted by our sanctions.

· Other significant parts of our sanctions regime remain intact, including: see post #15

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 13:53 utc | 18

Respectfully, expanded my thoughts on this here:

This is a learning moment for many of us on the left. It is very hard to square this deal with a U.S. slavishly under the thumb of the Israel Lobby. So let's learn.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 24 2013 13:55 utc | 19

Lavrov: Win-win Iran deal only became possible after Rouhani came to power. RT, 24 November 2012

The nuclear deal agreed between Iran and the P5+1 group is a win-win situation for everyone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that it only became possible after Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, came to power.

“The very long and difficult negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program have ended, an agreement has been reached, and this deal crowns [our] longstanding relations, during which we’ve seen both ups and downs,” Lavrov told journalists.

The agreement means that “we agree with the necessity to recognize Iran’s right to the peaceful atom, including the right to enrichment, with the understanding that all questions we currently have for the program will be [settled] and the whole program will be put under the IAEA’s strict control,” he said. “It’s the final aim, but it’s already fixed in today’s document.”
The agreement was based on the “concept promoted by the Russian president and fixed in Russia’s foreign policy,” Lavrov said.

Posted by: William Bowles | Nov 24 2013 13:58 utc | 20

Al Manar:

Iran President Sheikh Hasan Rouhani said Sunday that Iran is going to continue enrichment activities adding that sanctions against the country were starting to crumble. "Iran's right to uranium enrichment on its soil was accepted in this nuclear deal by world powers" he said in a press conference broadcast live on state television. “The structure of the sanctions against Iran has begun to fall apart,” said Sheikh Rouhani. Sheikh Rouhani invited the families of the nuclear martyrs to join him behind the podium in the honor of the efforts and bravery of the martyred nuclear scientists.

The US will try to spin it, but this is a good deal for Iran and a capitulation by Washington. Enrichment will continue on its civilian nuclear program (Iran never had a weapons program, so concessions like Inspections are meaningless if you have nothing to hide). In return they get concrete sanctions relief, which will likely cause a stampede to do business with Iran amoung Asian/European countries.

Also lets not forget that it boxes Israel in for the next six months. Anyone wondering if this is a good deal just needs to see how much Israel and Saudi Arabia hate it. Something that makes NetanYahoo this angry has got to be good for the world.

What I'd like to see moving forward is Iran cutting out France from all plane/car deals as punishment for it's behaviour it veteoing the last deal.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 24 2013 14:17 utc | 21

Ex President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his uncompromising stances was an obstacle for the West. For Iran? Difficult to know, probably in that moment, yes, but eventually he becomes barrier for the Iranian ruling circles too. We can see that how rapid development of events has been.

But if we put in terms of "winners" or "looser" all this it is instructive older article (still valid) "Patrick Cockburn: Sanctions can only deepen the Iran crisis"

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 14:22 utc | 22

Colm O' Toole #21

from Joint Plan of Action

Iran would undertake the following voluntary measures:

· From the existing uranium enriched to 20%, retain half as working stock of 20% oxide for fabrication of fuel for the TRR. Dilute the remaining 20% UF6 to no more than 5%. No reconversion line.

· Iran announces that it will not enrich uranium over 5% for the duration of the 6 months.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 14:31 utc | 23

I've read Guardian article, pretty much what I said about US policy:

Kerry said that neither the NPT nor Sunday's deal specifies a right to enrichment. That, he said, was a matter for negotiation in the coming six months.

Coupled with: "The set of understandings also includes an acknowledgment by Iran that it must address all United Nations Security Council resolutions" - and that means halting all enrichment altogether"

In other words, nothing changed for Iran for the better long term:

* Iran already gave up everything (sans Fordo) for peanuts and West left all hurting sanctions intact.

* 6 months later US will demand way more concessions if Iran wants sanctions lifted, especially those which matter. What Iran will be able to offer? Literally nothing. Abandon 3,5% enrichment too? No. Abandon Syria? I hope not.

* Obama wouldnt be able to lift sanctions even if he wanted to, its up to 100% pro-zionist Congress.

Where does it leave Iran? They halted or dismantled big part of its program, all real sanctions intact, and they have nothing else to offer. If they restart the program, its 2005 all over again, just worse. If they keep going with all those concessions, all sanctions will remain indefinitely anyway, i.e. until US grip on the World ends, which wont happen anytime soon despite our best wishes.

The only good outcome would be if West changes its regime change goal in Iran, then with time relationships would normalize. Its good to keep dreaming though, as its nothing more than that at the moment :)

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2013 14:39 utc | 24

"Also lets not forget that it boxes Israel in for the next six months. Anyone wondering if this is a good deal just needs to see how much Israel and Saudi Arabia hate it."

I never, ever, pay attention nor give any importance to Zionist entity and their Wahhabi counterpart. Local "reinforcers" and vassals are just that, both are entities which have no political will nor military might.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 14:40 utc | 25

I’m more optimistic. (see also Bateman at 7)

One factor that is neglected is the sanctions cripple not only Iran but everyone, incl. biz. in the USA.

All over the world ppl are tearing out their hair...complying with the US/...Isr. imposed ‘sanctions’ is burdensome and nonsensical...

A wind is blowing to stop this bureaucratic BS and let the ‘free market’ act, there are so many interests, from banking to oil to other commodities to telecoms to consumer goods (that includes Big Pharma and e.g. running shoes) etc. etc. Iran is a big, and rich market, Iran is not at war, it is ‘stable’, Iran pays its bills if it is allowed to do so (with fossil fuel revenues.)

The aim would be to break the Gvmt. stranglehold on the economy (like breaking up the Soviet economy) with new incursions and at first public-private deals. Of course that implies or requires slowly decimating the Ayatollahs stake - about 30% (? ?) of the economy is held by them thru straight holdings and decrees and the like, mostly for their personal profit and control of the population, imho.

The Iranians, that is those who have a voice that can be heard, would agree wholeheartedly to opening all this up and being as it is called ‘more free, joining the modern world' etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 24 2013 14:43 utc | 26

I'm with Colm O'Toole, at first blush this looks to be a good deal. Using the Syrian chemical weapons deal brokered by Lavrov in September as an analogy, the Western mainstream media will swing around and ratchet down its demonization of the Iran; the House of Saud and Likud will shriek and connive and use purchased mouthpieces like Senator Bob Corker to foment discord, but their message will increasingly be from the margin. Why? Because absent another 9/11, public opinion is overwhelming opposed to another war.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Nov 24 2013 14:49 utc | 27

Some hard facts....

“It’s a step, but it’s not like the end of a sanctions regime, not like it’s going to have a significant impact on the real balances of supply and demand for oil,” Ed Morse, the New York-based head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc., said in a phone interview. “On the other hand, it should take off whatever risk there might be in the market for the moment in terms of additional sanctions.”

Posted by: dh | Nov 24 2013 14:59 utc | 28

One side of the clash between Iran and the West is cultural one. There is war in that sphere too, and I do not think it is going to stop. The West will find new Rushdies, they will award new Nobel prizes for this and that for westernized Iranians, make 300, Argo and similar movies, rewrite history etc. The West will still despise the Iranians.

As long as the US Congress and ruling elite is ruled by "neo-conservatives, military companies, and Christian lunatics" and their goal is regime change the matter will not settle.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 14:59 utc | 29

So how sanction works and more importantly, mechanism behind it. Even if there is no sanctions at all, payment mechanism (set up by US) in place won't allow any transaction. More here:

A Very Perfect Instrument
The ferocity and failure of America’s sanctions apparatus

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 15:07 utc | 30

I rarely disagree with b but here I do.

Two main reasons:

Why has there been some kind of agreement or even just talks in the first place?

Two possibilities I see, possibly combined:

- zusa's *urgent need* to break free from israel criminal domination.
One must not overlook the fact that what we perceive as "zusa being on the brink of collapse" actually is based on a perverted and immensily sweetened image. The zusa reality is *far worse*.

Maybe there are, as some assume, certain forces behind obama, maybe not and it's simply obamas only option to break free from israel. Anyway, that's what he seems to be doing albeit against a congress and senate largely in israels pocket.

- No matter how hard the zio-western (ex-)powers try to keep the show going, fact is that the real power now is with Russia, China, BRICS. Make no mistake, Russia success re. Syria wasn't based on nato criminals having discovered a human side; it was based on Putin making clear that Russia doesn't want a war but is ready to fight it and to break the nato ex-powers.
In fact, there always was the option to simply hace BRICS completely ignore the western sanctions and to do normal business with Iran. Chances are that Lavrov made it clear to the remote controlled western puppets that BRICS will not any longer tolerate the illegal sanction regimes and economic wars of former criminal powers.

Funnily, we owe a thank you to israels (officially) new friend, zaudi-arabia and their long-term criminal secret service chief bandar. He tried it once with Putin; this scumbag had the nerves to try blackmailing Putin with "al quaeda" terrorists. And now he tried it again. But while zaudi-arabie is immensely important for zusa they are but meaningless nobodies for Russia. Bringing themselves to the front as new friends of israel almost guaranteed that Russia feels some counter-weight, namely Iran, is needed.

As a side note: I knew, of course, that western media are largely but remote controlled propaganda bots for israel. I'm shocked anyway, however, *how far* they go and how openly they do their dirty work.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 24 2013 15:16 utc | 31

Everyone on this site who immediately thought the chemical weapons deal was bad for Syria is also wrong about yesterday's agreement being meaningless or bad for Iran.

1. Iran achieves an important rapprochement with important global powers.
2. Iran finally gains de facto recognition of its NPT rights.
3. A process is started for ending the sanctions.
4. A process is started for unwinding tendencies towards war between the US and Iran.
5. The US and Iran were directly negotiating for months -- and now will turn to work on other issues.
6. The REAL DIPLOMACY around other more significant regional issues will now begin. In fact, yesterday's agreement was a COVER for more important negotiations on other files and for other US grand strategies.
7. Obama carried out secret negotiations for months in order to counter the Israeli/Neocon/Saudi power configuration in Congress/US media, etc. This is a good sign -- perhaps the *best* thing Obama has done since 2008.
8. The US wants and needs a final deal with Iran. It cannot achieve any ME or global goals without one. Do not underestimate the US interest in this deal.
9. Israel and Saudi are furious because the White House is fed up with their lunacy and pure evil.

To reiterate, a lot of people on this site were totally wrong about the Syrian chemical weapons deal being a massive surrender and US victory.

Without forgetting the power dynamics at play, there are many up sides to the current deal with Iran too.

Last point: Ignore all of Obama's hostile rhetoric. He is simply trying to sell this to Congress -- ie, to avoid new sanctions.

Posted by: wevin | Nov 24 2013 15:38 utc | 32

@ neretva'43

Yes Iran will stop enrichment @ 20% but can continue 5% enrichment which is what it needs for civilian nuclear power plants and medical isotopes. The important thing is to look at how much this gives into Iran. Everyone should remember the May 2010 deal that Turkey-Brazil brokered, they negotiated a deal where Iran would give up low level enrichment in exchange for fuel rods developed outside Iran. The US refused that deal. That was a mistake since the deal was done when Iran was nervious after the Green color revolution.

This new deal is substantially better to Iran and is an acknowledgement from the US that its sanctions policy is unsustainable.

On the cultural issue I agree that the US will continue to interfere with Iran through new Rushdies and movies. This is a nuclear deal and not an overall deal on relations. I'm looking at this deal as removing the economic shackles on Iran, while maintaining its civilian nuclear capabilities, thus allowing them to continue the Resistance Axis from a freer economic position. It's obvious that issues like Syria or Hezbollah were not officially mentioned in this deal. They remain unchanged thankfully.

Iran has survived the cultural war with Hollywood for 34 years. It can live with that.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Nov 24 2013 15:40 utc | 33

@Colm O' Toole

Iran needs 20% EU to run the Tehran Research Reactor which makes medical isotopes. This is why they are not required to destroy all 20% stockpile. And perhaps it's a first step to real "LEU for fuel" deal with US.

Posted by: Michal | Nov 24 2013 15:56 utc | 34


I wonder, do you have a Christal Ball or you are an an insider?

"Last point: Ignore all of Obama's hostile rhetoric. He is simply trying to sell this to Congress -- ie, to avoid new sanctions."

This is meaningless in my humble opinion, as well as Patrick Cockburn's see post #22.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 16:08 utc | 35


This is mistyped bevin, or this is the Mrs. Magma character?

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 24 2013 16:24 utc | 36

It ain't bevin, guest, though I'm in agreement with much of what he, and most other posters here say.

This deal needs to be seen in the light of two important facts.

The first is Israel.
It is true that Israel has long exerted disproportionate influence over US foreign policy. But it is not true that Israel has dictated policy over a long period. The basic fact is not Israel's weight in US politics, either in terms of numbers or money, but the existence if a vacuum, much to nature's disgust, in US foreign policy. Apart from the general desire to dominate everything, always-a not uncommon desire among the very young- there isn't much purpose. Business pursues its own interests and while the iron fist of the Pentagon is nice to have, it really isn't necessary. All business really needs from Washington is ever lower taxes, a tight lid on wages, and a regulation free environment. It has them all; and democrats and republicans compete to take credit for it.
What Israel, led by single minded fascist fanatics does very well is to give the Pentagon and the State Department something to do. It ensures by keeping them busy chasing ghosts, such as terrorism, Iran's nuclear threat, another holocaust being planned and other amusements for empty minds (the end times!) that nothing is done about implementing decades worth of promises regarding a Palestinian state, the end of the occupation, the return of Syrian and Lebanese territories, civil rights in Israel. Not to mention ceasing the sponsorship of terrorists and standing on its own feet economically.
Israel, with 200 nuclear weapons and a regional monopoly on WMD, cries wolf and the Military Industrial Complex in the US seconds those cries but there is no future in a policy of eternally escalating hysteria.
And the past isn't as long as it sometimes looks. One of Obama's first actions in 2009 was to appoint Mitchell as a peace envoy. It didn't go anywhere, although George Mitchell did, but it was an indication of a commitment, half hearted but real, to negotiations. Israel's partisans were horrified and they made sure that the mission was aborted, but it took them a lot, including political credit, to achieve that. The current attitude of letting Israel do as it pleases in settlements and build and annex at will is not only new but linked directly to the "Arab Spring" civil wars raging or impending from Aden to Beirut, the Mahgreb to Sudan. It cannot go on.

The change in US Foreign policy is only partly to do with the "pivot to Asia." Much more likely than which is a revaluation of the cost effectiveness of the current strategy of building bases and starting fights everywhere. The costs are enormous, the benefits non-existent: US military adventures abroad are a self conducted propaganda campaign against the USA. From Okinawa to Mukhalla the stars and stripes are hated. And, increasingly, not feared. Those who talk of "soft power" and "cultural reach" clearly don't get out much.

I recollect, in the mid fifties, being in a cinema full of Malayan schoolchildren where a Hollywood movie about Korea was being shown. How it ended I have no idea, because there was a riot which lasted all day. Sixty years later the brand, tainted by decades more of riding roughshod over the world, is tainted beyond repair. W was right: those not with the US are against it. The latter are many, the former are few, cowardly and mercenary. Soft power only applies to a sliver of treacherous intellectuals in every country always ready to trade their country for crumbs in America and comprador businessmen.

Netanyahu and his Congressional friends make a big noise but in the end they are going to be arguing that tens of millions of hungry or desperate or unhappy Americans should sacrifice living standards and hope in order to bankroll Mussolini's last surviving comrades as they pursue Zionist fantasies in Palestine. Once Congress gets something real to do, it will stop obsessing about Israel.

My prediction is that, by next Spring, a populist opposition in the US will be talking about the need for more social security, more secure pensions, cheaper housing, interest free student loans, a reversal of job exportation, tariff protection, a living minimum wage and other practical policies which will require big cuts in Defense expenditure and an end to million dollar a year private soldiers. In such a wash, Israel will shrink rapidly to its proper size.

The Second important fact is Fukushima. Iran's nuclear programme goes back to the halcyon days of the fifties when nuclear power was touted as a miracle whose power would be too cheap to meter. And the Shah, always looking for cheap electricity for the torture chambers, was daft enough to buy into it.

For a variety of reasons, many to do with Iran's proper refusal to be denied its sovereign rights, the programme has survived and become a talisman. But the truth is that nuclear power is a disaster in urgent need of dismantling. And economically the power produced would have to be really inexpensive to justify, over a thousand years, what it has already cost.
The next months afford Iranians a perfect opportunity to look into the implications of nuclear power and reconsider the advantages its proponents claim for it. At the same time the situation is one in which pressure ought to be put on Israel and its enablers, (from Germany which is building its nuclear armed submarine fleet, France, the UK and the US) to begin the long process of dismantling its nuclear arsenal.
If, by reaching an agreement with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation to take shelter under its members' nuclear umbrella, the threat of nuclear attacks on Iran are deterred all the better.

I have no illusions, that I know of, about the perfidy of the Empire but this agreement represents a welcome split in its rulers' ranks. It also represents a refusal to be intimidated by AIPAC and its clown chorus in Congress.

Unlike b I do not believe that Congress will be able to impose new sanctions on the government. It certainly has no power to impose them on the EU or the rest of the world. I believe that Iranian sanctions are going the way of those against Cuba, and that increasingly counties will work around them. I also believe that sanctions include some benefits by forcing countries into self reliance and breaking global trade patterns.

Sorry to have written at such length- I'm unsure whether I would read a piece this long- but I had no time to compress it.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 24 2013 16:37 utc | 37

* Obama wouldnt be able to lift sanctions even if he wanted to, its up to 100% pro-zionist Congress.

Harry @24 - Congress can pass all the laws it wants to but it is up to the executive, i.e., the President, to enforce them. It is quite easy for him not to enforce them if he doesn't want to, even though he appears to be taking an active position and Congress can't do much about it.

Posted by: blowback | Nov 24 2013 16:47 utc | 38

A propos: There is something like a - still vague - theorie in my mind.

*Nobody* in zusa and certainly no president can dare to go against israel and their criminal thugs like aipac. Both congress and senate are way to much in israels pocket.
There is only one group that has the power to force them all to do the sensible thing: the people.
Of course, israel knowing that has done everything imaginable to make them insignificant; the zamericans have been propagandized, stupidized, TV-dumbed, etc.

There is, however, sonething that reaches and activates the masses, something that has more power than wars (in other countries): *their* money and well being.

Unless obama is excessively stupid, which he is certainly not, his obamacare program couldn't be meant seriously. And sure enough, it's neither a realiable series of "coincidences" nor republican sabotage that made it not only fail but rightout puke in ones face consistently.

For me the give away was that obamacare makes it even way more expensive than the current health plans.
So, let's look with objective, rational eyes. For obamacare to fail so reliably and repeatedly in every respect it had to be designed to do eactly that. But what for?

It wakes the people up out of their lethargic ignorance and triggers them. All obama now needs to do is to connect that failure and the generally bad situation in zusa with all those congressmen and senators who care more for israel than for zamericans.
At the same time obamacare is (and already was at the gov. shutdown) bargaining chip. It's simple: There is hardly anything the republicans hate more than obamacare. No matter what obama wants from them, they will demand him to cout down on obamacare. If - and that's my assumptions - obamacare was brought to live for that purpose only, it'll be easy for obama to "wrestle hard and long" and to then give in.

Again, it's still vague and completely unproven but I bet there's something to it.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 24 2013 17:25 utc | 39

@blowback | 37

"Harry @24 - Congress can pass all the laws it wants to but it is up to the executive, i.e., the President, to enforce them. It is quite easy for him not to enforce them if he doesn't want to, even though he appears to be taking an active position and Congress can't do much about it."

As far as I understand US law, president can only remove sanctions which he enacted himself, by Executive Orders. Most of the sanctions against Iran are passed by Congress, i.e. president has no authority to remove them.

Zio-lobby did a good job of gathering rabid supporters into Congress, thus to expect a 180 degree turn from them is highly unrealistic. At least not anytime soon, thats for sure.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 24 2013 17:35 utc | 40

i like what @6 and mr pragma had to say about russia and BRIC influence here. the usa needs to consider developing different alliances, and weakening some of the others ( israel and sa) or viewing these alliances in a different context then they typically have.. if the usa continues on in the same way- making war and acting with hostility thru sanctions and etc., their demise is going to happen a lot faster.

as for bevin's view that the usa population is going to rise up and demand more of it's gov't locally, i doubt it. my impression is the usa is much more apathetic then many realize. i think this deal with iran is ultimately a good one and a step in the right direction. i too would like to see the seriousness of fukushima seen in proper context here as it relates to iran's desire for nuclear power.. i think many are reconsidering the risks associated with this. i know japan certainly is.

Posted by: james | Nov 24 2013 17:52 utc | 41

Gas prices tend to get the public's attention. That's why a war in the Gulf would be catastrophic and why it would be helpful to get Iran's oil and gas back on the market.

Posted by: dh | Nov 24 2013 18:06 utc | 42

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24, 2013 9:40:58 AM | 25

I never, ever, pay attention nor give any importance to Zionist entity and their Wahhabi counterpart. Local "reinforcers" and vassals are just that, both are entities which have no political will nor military might.

The peoples of Lebanon and Bahrain beg to differ. I did a lot of my growing up in Southern Lebanon and can testify from direct personal experience that claims that Israel has neither political will nor the military might to try to enforce that will are nonsensical.

The notion that countries like Saudi or Israel or Turkey have neither agency nor interests nor aims of their own and that they lack the means and the will to attempt to further those interests or aims is very common.* Satrapies and satraps have now and have always aims and interests of their own and the will to further those aims and interests. They also have several means of trying to further those aims and interests.

The Satrapies of Saudi Arabia and Israel are at present strong enough relative to their hegemon to be able to pursue policies of their own and get away with it this is also true of Turkey and arguably of the Egyptian officer class.


* It's also very racist.

Posted by: Dubhaltach | Nov 24 2013 18:07 utc | 43

@36 I read it and my only complaint is that it was too short. Excellent.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 24 2013 19:10 utc | 44

Iran will be barred from accepting gold as payment for oil:

Some curbs on gold trading also will be removed. While Iran will be allowed to buy and sell precious metals, including gold, it will be barred from accepting them as payment for oil or any other sanctioned transaction, according to the officials. Iran sits on the world’s fourth-largest proven oil reserves.

Posted by: Frank | Nov 24 2013 19:29 utc | 45

Stacy Herbert: "So it seems that it was Iran trading oil for gold that brought the US to the negotiating table?"

Posted by: Frank | Nov 24 2013 19:35 utc | 46

@ Posted by: Frank | Nov 24, 2013 2:29:41 PM | 44

I wondered about that - thanks for that and your subsequent.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Nov 24 2013 19:44 utc | 47

I think the person who sums it best is 'b' himself. I think he captures the essence of what happened in saying:

"There is now a temporary deal between the U.S. (and some sideshows) and Iran about some reduction of illegal U.S. sanctions against Iran in exchange for some freeze of legal Iranian industrial nuclear activities. "

I also agree with 'b' when he says:

"While the White House claims that the deal does not accept Iran's "right to enrich" it factually does."

However, strictly speaking in terms of chemistry, enriching the natural Uranium from 0.72% to 0.73% (still under 1%) at the rate of 2gr/year is also "enrichment"! The deal talks about agreeing to set the parameters for Iranian enrichment program in the final "comprehensive solution" in the future. So this in itself is a recognition of Iran's right to enrich Uranium, after all you cannot decide on the parameters of an enrichment program if Iran has not right to such a program. But the devil lies in the details this exactly what the agreement says:

"[The final step of a comprehensive solution will] involve a mutually defined enrichment programme with mutually agreed parameters consistent with practical needs, with agreed limits on scope and level of enrichment
activities, capacity, where it is carried out, and stocks of enriched uranium, for a period to be agreed upon."

There are several points in this which I don't quite understand:
1) The location for enrichment is to be decided in the final deal. It does not say "where in Iran, it [enrichment] is carried out ", rather it says "where it is carried out".

2) Why should we have to agree on the "limits on scope and level of enrichment activities" with P5+1? Where in NPT does it say that the scope and level of enrichment of a sovereign nation -signatory to NPT- is to be decided based on mutual agreement with "nuclear weapon states" + Germany?

And of course there is also the problem of suspending the Arak reactor. Why should we suspend its operation? Why should we cave in to France's bullying? By the way for the information of those readers who rightly worry about the environmental consequences of nuclear reactors, Arak reactor is just "research reactor", not a power generating reactor a la "bushehr" or fukushima.

And finally, I don't understand where in NPT it says that member states have to get the approval of nuclear weapon states before replacing centrifuges with more efficient versions.

Bottom line is that this deal puts significant limitation on perfectly legal nuclear activities by Iran. It is a restriction of our sovereign rights. I hope that Americans will breach it before the 6 months are up.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 24 2013 19:51 utc | 48

I'm rather more optimistic. I would suggest that if Iran behaves itself for the next six months then any attempt by the USA to re-impose the USA/Israeli policy of more, more, more sanctions will lead to an open split amongst the P5+1, and with it a complete splintering of the unilaterally-imposed USA sanctions.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 24 2013 21:01 utc | 49

"if Iran behaves itself for the next six months then"

that's so typical for the condescending and idiotic western perspective.

Iran *does* behave very well and extremely patiently and peacefully since many years. In fact, it is the zionist western countries and israel who behave badly again and again.
Actually Iran behaves so well that they smile politely when they are again and again insulted; like these days when they were offered a chance to have some minimal part of sanctions lifted and such maybe getting some billion $ *of their own* money. And that after having had to take damage far in excess of 1 trillion, which, of course zusa will never eveee compensate for, if alone for the fact that those bigmouthed thugs are was too broken.

zusa, uk, fr, israel *do* have nuclear weapons and zusa even used them, basically for "pedagogic" reasons. Yet Iran is expected "to behave" - while Iran simply and only does what it's having the right to do as a signer of NPT.

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 24 2013 21:39 utc | 50

I would suggest that if Iran behaves itself for the next six months then any attempt by the USA to re-impose the USA/Israeli policy of more, more, more sanctions will lead to an open split amongst the P5+1,

Has Iran ever "misbehaved"? Strange starting point alright, especially compared to "USA/Israeli policy" in which at least one of those 2 doesn't even pretend to intend to comply

Posted by: foff | Nov 24 2013 21:59 utc | 51

Very little mention of this sack of shit Netanyahu in the comments. Like a cornered rabid dog, Netanyahu can now be depended upon to rush to action, mouth foaming.

A false flag is not out of the question. More predictably, he will start painfully squeezing the balls of every single member of the United States Congress. In unison with these bought and paid for whores, right and left, we can depend on Israel's pressure upon our media to cast this deal in the worst possible light. And the right wing, here, missing no opportunity to demonize and neutralize this uppity negra and his policies, will surely plant the seed in the minds of the Fox News swilling public that Obama is obviously pro-terrorist and anti-semitic to the core. Expect his middle name to once again be bandied about as proof of his sinister alliances.

We are about to see the true scope of the Hasbara machine, as well as how crippling AIPAC's grip is on the gonads of our so-called "representatives". To an ignorant and ill-informed public, this "deal" is easily demonized, and is but one more step towards a far right wing Presidency lurking just around the corner. This deal, coupled with Obama's health care albatross, is the last nail in the coffin of a Democrat cinching the next Presidential election. In the minds of my fellow Americans, (pumped full of absolute CRAP about Israel and Iran), Iran is the devil, and Israel is the brain child of God Almighty.

By the way, uh, how are those "peace negotiations" coming? Fuck Kerry. This "deal" is nothing but empty hype, just like these bullshit peace negotiations. The irony is that this "deal" with Iran is what is going to bury the Dems chance at winning the next Presidency. And, one can hope, that this dog Netanyahu only needs a small "trifecta" this time, rather than an epic one, like the last one.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 24 2013 22:22 utc | 52


“The most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world......Israel is not bound by this agreement. The Iranian regime is committed to the destruction of Israel.”

Like I said; A dangerous rabid dog, cornered. Who knows what this piece of shit will do now? And make no mistake, there is a huge contingent of DC whores who will help him do it, no matter what it is.

Mark my words, someday, Israel will start WWIII.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 24 2013 22:53 utc | 53


Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24 2013 23:46 utc | 54


Too bad all the duct tape that was wasted to seal up doors and windows during the Bush crazy days wasn't used to make the Nut'n'Yahoo close his big fat mouth.

Posted by: Cynthia | Nov 24 2013 23:54 utc | 55

Not directly related to topic but...

"The United States said Saturday it was "deeply concerned" and committed to defending Japan after China announced an air zone in the East China Sea that includes disputed islands."

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 25 2013 0:02 utc | 56

@ Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 24, 2013 6:46:56 PM | 53

Why am I not surprised that that's the best you can do? The moment anyone contradicts anything you write you respond with non sequiturs, and ad hominems. I've yet to see you even once respond with a logical rebuttal or counter-argument to anyone who contradicts you. It would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic.


Posted by: Dubhaltach | Nov 25 2013 0:38 utc | 57

why US is staying in afghanistan:

Posted by: brian | Nov 25 2013 0:48 utc | 58

"Iran will accept more intrusive nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, including daily visits to some facilities." Then, some inspector will put something pinpointing exactly where an israeli missile could hit to make the most damages possible.

Alas, I agree wit POA. That dangerous rabid dog as he says will do anything to get rid of Assad, Hezbollah and Iran and he knows he got the backing of the wahabbists. I expect a false flag pointing to Iran so their american puppets oblige. Remember that we were dangerously close to war in Syria after the Ghouta false flag.

Posted by: Gregg | Nov 25 2013 1:10 utc | 59

Dubhaltach | Nov 24, 2013 7:38:15 PM | 56

Ah...Cartman, Cartman.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 25 2013 1:39 utc | 60

" for bevin's view that the usa population is going to rise up and demand more of it's gov't locally, i doubt it. my impression is the usa is much more apathetic then many realize."

I'm suggesting only that, for the first time for several election cycles, there are going to be candidates putting forward populist programmes.
And that would seem to be what is happening. There is talk of Bernie Sanders entering the Presidential race, tho' whether as a Third party or Democratic candidate I'm not sure. Then there is Elizabeth Warren.
What is interesting is that their speeches are attracting attention and their campaigns gaining traction. Moderate reformers are daring to speak their names again.
All that is needed is a response from the public and it is hard to see how people will be able to restrain themselves. The more so as Democrats are staking so much on the dead on arrival Obamacare programme.
Apathy is hardwired into the US political system, which is designed to prevent popular programmes from spilling across regional or race boundaries. But occasionally, in times of crisis, prairie fires are sparked and massive movements ignited. One's about due now.

For those who haven't seen it Pepe is interviewed at RT:

The great challenge, for the spin meisters of Tel Aviv, is going to be explaining why, if running centrifuges to enrich uranium is an existential threat to Israel, not running them is even more dangerous. Why, if 20% enriched uranium means a bomb is imminent, no 20% uranium means a bomb is even closer.
I think Dr Goebbels would have been tested on this one.

As to rabid dogs: they don't live long once the symptoms are discernible.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 25 2013 1:45 utc | 61

@51 ICH had some "dark humor" on its front page along those very lines. It is a frightening thought.

ICH: A Warning Or A Promise?
“If five years from now a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York or Madrid, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning,” the Israeli economic minister, Naftali Bennett, said in a statement.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2013 2:03 utc | 62

Makes very good points. While all the attention is being paid to the US and Iran, the real player is Russia, acting here in coordination with China.
The others, the EU, Germany, the UK and France are simply window dressing.

"Again, I'd look at the role that Lavrov is playing. Iran is bending over backwards to be conciliatory and after six months, Russia can help unwind the sanctions that it helped impose when Iran seemed to be disrupting the status quo. Now that Russian vs. Nato aims have diverged almost completely, it's in Russia's interest to strengthen the Iranian economy and state to assist Syria and counter the Saudis."

Posted by: bevin | Nov 25 2013 2:04 utc | 63

So the US parent will now have to deal with the temper-tantrum of it's Israeli/Saudi spoiled children. And what a temper tantrum it might be.

Israel and Saudi Arabia are the two most unrestrained, unaccountable governments on the globe - more so even (but only ultimately because of) the United States. And of course the problem with constantly making excuses for the inexcusable behavior of two such dangerous (and ultimately distant from the people's true interests) regimes is that our country is put in a total bind rhetorically and strategically. This is what George Washington was talking about.

Using the USS Liberty or September 11th attacks as examples, it is the fact that our elite is so intertwined (what in a non-plutocracy would considered traitorous corruption) with these bad actors that no action can be taken when the little rats decide to bite the hand that feeds them.

So what if the Saudis decide that the United States needs a reminder of what the GWOT is all about? What if Israel decides to start a dust up with Hezbollah and then use that to begin a bombing campaign against Iran? It's all well and good for the United States to suddenly decide that it wants to be a responsible actor in the world - but is our elite so naive to think that the massive infrastructure of violence it has set up - these murderers and fascists, armed and trained and full of piss and vinegar - will just go quietly into the good night? And when they don't, do you think the US media will suddenly be able to say "guess what folks, we've been lying to you all these years..."? Or are we, the American people, just supposed to keep taking it on the chin so that the George "Saudi" Bush and Al "Likud" Gore can keep having their business deals and campaign contributions?

What a world.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2013 2:43 utc | 64

Our old friend Don Bacon, posting at Emptywheel has this to say:

"This is a huge win for Iran — and Netanyahu recognizes it as such.

The Real Deal:
–recognition of democracy in Iran
–Iran’s willingness to negotiate in good faith
–rupture of anti-Iran coalition
–an example, for other countries, of Western defiance
–highlighting of UNSC malfeasance

The Iran economy? Sanctions cut two ways — buyer and seller.

Sure, Iran has been hurt but Iran is adjusting by increasing domestic capabilities and by re-orienting toward the East, where the growth is. (Plus avoiding sanctions in many ways.) So while there has been an impact, Iran is working through it.

In Europe there has been an impact also because Iran’s significant trade with Europe has been lessened. There have been an impacts on various European suppliers, including major impacts on Peugeot and Renault which (along with other economic problems) have led to plant closings and layoffs.

Looking at 2014 GDP increase predictions: Euro Area – 1.067%, Iran 1.089%. World average 4.40%.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 25 2013 2:54 utc | 65

Xymphora really nailed this "Israeli" hokum.

Let the negotiations begin!

Yesterday was one of those rare good days. Iran, the United States, and the world cheering for peace, and one nasty group united against peace on the other side. Moral clarity. It has never been more obvious where the wars come from.

Of course, the real negotiations are between the elected government of the United States and the real government of the United States, the Zionist Occupation Government, consisting of the Lobby, 99% of the media (I suppose you've noticed how the Jew-controlled media was trying to spin the agreement away by repeatedly insisting that the sides were too far away to possibly make a deal), and the Entertainment Industrial Complex (the last of which, of course, is also behind the ridiculously overreaching secret deals on intellectual property and criminalization of the use of the internet, as if you need anything else to be furious about).

The job of a successful American Administration is to frame these second negotiations, the real negotiations, in such a way that real American interests, and not solely the interests of a truly insane group of violent group supremacists who would not hesitate to blow up the entire world to steal another square millimeter of land, prevail. The deal provides almost no benefit to Iran except to put the world's real warmongers in the spotlight if the next six months don't produce a lasting agreement due to ZOG blocking. That blocking would provide the anger in the rest of the world which would result in the complete collapse of the non-American sanctions, irreversibly ruining American prestige and with it the idea that the United States is a functioning superpower (not to mention finally anointing China as the world's real superpower).

ZOG is now in an impossible position. If it blocks the agreement, which it certainly can, there is fury and sanctions busting everywhere, and Iran simply carries on doing business with the rest of the world as if the United States is irrelevant, and the United States takes a big step towards becoming irrelevant. The entire world, and the American people, despite massive propaganda from the Jew-controlled media, will then see who is solely to blame. The suddenly rickety American relationship with Israel, without which there is no Jewish state in the Middle East, suddenly becomes rickety-er.

On the other hand, if ZOG allows an agreement to normalize relations with Iran, the Israeli military dictatorship loses the artificial mortal enemy that it needs in order to explain to its citizens why they have to live in such an insane way, and also probably loses much of the force behind the Sunni-Shi'ite schism that it has manipulated for decades.

Barry may yet earn that Nobel Peace Prize. He has effectively wagered the international reputation and prestige of the United States as the only play he has to attempt to neutralize the power of ZOG and the never-ending warmongering of the Jewish people.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25 2013 2:56 utc | 66

I still can't get past the idea that it's OK for a shitty little, war-mongering, fake country, inhabited by 6 million misfits, is demanding the destruction of a peaceful country of 80 million people, for reasons which make no sense at all, and people are wasting time and effort pondering the nonsense, instead of pondering the legitimacy of Israel and its continued existence - and whether it serves any Human purpose whatsoever.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 25 2013 3:09 utc | 67

Here is Fisk on the deal:

It marks a victory for the Shia in their growing conflict with the Sunni Muslim Middle East. It gives substantial hope to Bashar al-Assad that he will be left in power in Syria. It isolates Israel. And it infuriates Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait and other Sunni Gulf States which secretly hoped that a breakdown of the Geneva nuclear talks would humiliate Shia Iran and support their efforts to depose Assad, Iran’s only ally in the Arab world.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2013 3:28 utc | 68

"Iran’s only ally in the Arab world"

Horseshit. Hasn't Fisk ever heard of "Iraq"?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 25 2013 3:47 utc | 69

"As to rabid dogs: they don't live long once the symptoms are discernible"

Yeah, and it is with these last fatal throes that they reach the apex of thier insanity. And whoever has been bitten shares thier fate.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 25 2013 3:51 utc | 70

You have to wonder what kind of massive time/space bending cognitive dissonance might occur if the commenters on the following Times of Israel article would - for even one fraction of a second - realize what internet comments in the Third Reich might have sounded like...

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2013 3:53 utc | 71

@68 Well, you have him dead to rights there. In his defense the view of his computer screen was probably obscured by scotch or six.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 25 2013 3:55 utc | 72

Below is the Iranian take on the recent Geneva agreement posted on website

As follows:

TEHRAN (ISNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif leading the Iranian negotiating team in Geneva reiterated that the country's nuclear activities would continue based on the deal reached between Iran and the 6 countries.

"Iranian nuclear program would continue and the nation's rights on Non-Proliferation Treaty is included (in the deal) as an inseparable right. Based on the agreement titled 'Action Plan', all restrictions imposed against the Iranian nation would be lifted."

He noted Iran's enrichment program up to the 5 percent level would continue through a serious start in the next 6 months along with talks aiming at lifting sanctions against Iran completely.

He reiterated Iranian nuclear facilities would not be shut down and nuclear activities at Fordo and Natanz sites as well as Arak Heavy Water Reactor would continue, and no material would be sent out from Iran.

He assured that based on the deal all sanctions would be lifted and blocked financial resources would be returned to Iran.

The Iranian Foreign Minister added the 'Action Plan' is prepared in 4 pages whose English version does not have any article.

The deal includes 3 parts of goals, preliminary mutual measures and final step, he said, adding, Iranian enrichment has been recognized in the sections of goals and final step.

According to the Iranian Foreign Minister, the deal includes a guarantee and also a joint committee monitoring implementation of the 6-month plan. He added that all measures are reversible and Iran can pick up its previous approach in case the other side refuses to abide by its commitments.

Posted by: curious | Nov 25 2013 4:26 utc | 73

I second bevin’s comments. There has been a sea change in the Empire starting with the backing down on the bombing of Syria. Our protests were heard, unlike before. Amazing.

The world order is in flux. The USA finally realized it is better to have a friend in Persia than an enemy. Ukraine just told the EU to piss off and is back under Russia’s umbrella. Japan placed a no fly zone over small uninhabited islands North of Taiwan.

2013 appears to be repeat of the prelude to war played out in 1914, all over again. Israel will be the trigger that starts the firing of atomic weapons and WWIII, unless restrained.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Nov 25 2013 4:32 utc | 74

@neretva'43 - comment 55

Much ado about very little. The US reaction in particular is quasi hysterical. Japan has a similar admin. measure that covers part of the Chinese territorial waters (and now both ADIZ overlap…). All that measure does is ask the opposite side (or any plane actually) to identify themselves with air-traffic control. If anything, it should help avoid accidents and thus decrease tensions.

But it is a bit unfortunate that apparently the PRC didn't consult with Japan and US authorities before announcing the measure.

Posted by: Philippe | Nov 25 2013 4:34 utc | 75

@49 and @50 It is apparent that I did not make my meaning clear.

When I said "if Iran behaves itself for the next six months then" I meant it in the sense of Iran not giving its opponents any excuse to call foul on their behaviour.

Because it is axiomatic that the opponents of this deal - and, yeah, I'm looking at you Bibi - will leap on any evidence, however flimsy, to shout that Iran is in material breach of this agreement.

If Iran can avoid that (and it will take some doing) then it will reach the end of that "interim" six months with its nose clean and its reputation much enhanced. At which point the chances of the USA imposing new sanctions against Tehran are slim, and of the int'l community abiding by those sanctions: nil.

My statement was not meant to imply that I think that Iran has hitherto been "misbehaving". Far from it. My statement was written to look FORWARD over the next six months, not BACK over the last 10 years.

I thought that meaning was clear but, obviously, it was not.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 25 2013 5:01 utc | 76

one of israels most loyals servant will continue sanctions regardless

Posted by: brian | Nov 25 2013 5:29 utc | 77

Guest77 @63: Great comment, hope it's true and the U.S. is not one of the spoiled children just pretending to be nice so it can bully later.

I stuck your comment over here:

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 25 2013 5:57 utc | 78

@63 The greatest fear of the leadership of both Israel and Saudi Arabia is that one day the USA will decide that it is in America's national interest to throw them under a bus.

And the funny thing is that this fear is making them so hysterical that..... the USA will have little choice but to conclude that it is in America's interest to throw them under a bus.

After all, that's probably going to be the only way to get the little sh**'s to shut the f**k up.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 25 2013 6:18 utc | 79

People seem to be celebrating the idea that "there has been a change in the US approach to middle east". I am not going to argue here how correct that interpretation of recent is- because quite frankly I find it a bit immature and hasty. Let's for the moment assume that this argument is indeed correct and the US is on a path to significant shift from putting all its eggs in the Israeli/Saudi basket. Cyrus Safdari says:

"The sadness of it all, is that it took so long for the US to see which horse to pick whilst also vindicating its own historical perspective that free commerce and engagement are what build strong and stable relations as well as the democracy we so earnestly profess... A market of 80 million Amerophiles in a major oil producing nation beckons, you idiots, there but for the taking."(Emphasis NOT added by me, but by Cyrus himself)

Is this what you people are looking forward to? An "80-million-market"?!?!? And of course no sound sense of analysis of history about why Israel was created to begin with, and that the main reason for its creation was indeed access to the oil and "market" in the middle east.
My writing skills are not good at all, so I find it very difficult to find words to express my deep disappointment.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 25 2013 7:36 utc | 80

@73 "2013 appears to be repeat of the prelude to war played out in 1914, all over again. Israel will be the trigger that starts the firing of atomic weapons and WWIII, unless restrained."

An old university text (circa 1962) A.W. Palmer's "A Dictionary of Modern History" gives an interesting background on short, but significant war(s) in the Balkans that flared up, and came to a head, in 1913.

In March 1912 the rival Balkan States, Bulgaria and Serbia, were induced by Russian diplomatists to sign an alliance providing for future partition of Macedonia, then still a Turkish province. Greece and Montenegro duly associated themselves with this alliance and in October 1912 these four states attacked Turkey, gaining swift victories. The Great Powers, meeting in an Ambassadorial Conference in London, tried to end the war and succeeded, in May 1913, in securing a preliminary peace under which the Turks surrendered most of their European territories on the understanding that the Powers would create a new and independent state of Albania--an arrangement distasteful to Serbia and Montenegro who wished to acquire the Albanian coastline.
But it is strange how alliances of convenience can prove fickle; and in turn, the enemies of a fortnight ago will intervene quickly in a war between those who were but lately allied against them. It all seems to happen, once the loot or territory is in play, and the situation in war becomes volatile.
Friction arose between the Serbs and Greeks, on one hand, and the Bulgarians, on the other. The Bulgarians, who had suffered three-quarters of the casualties, rightly anticipated that Serbia and Greece were planning to divide Macedonia between them, giving only formal compensation to Bulgaria. The Bulgarians accordingly attacked the Serbs and Greeks (June 29th, 1913) but found themselves invaded by the Roumanians and the Turks (with whom the Serbs and Greeks were still technically at war!)
Yes, the Scripture comes to mind: "There is nothing new under the sun." I guess it can't be claimed with certainty that the little war turned out to be the precursor of the big one, only a year later; but it certainly was a warning that was not sufficiently heeded.
Inevitably, the Bulgarians were rapidly defeated. The Treaty of Bucharest (August 1913) divided most of the territory claimed by Bulgaria in Macedonia and Thrace between Serbia and Greece and also made Bulgaria cede southern Dobrudja to Roumania. The general effect of the Balkan Wars was: (i) to limit Turkey-in-Europe to the area around Adrianople and Constantinople; (ii) to create the ill-defined state of Albania; (iii) to double the size of Serbia and of Montenegro; (iv) to make Greece the most important power in the Aegean, possessing the key port of Salonica: (v) to leave Bulgaria bitterly resentful. This settlement was to determine the behaviour of the Balkan States during the First World War.
The very term balkanization is drawn from this particular history; and it's obvious that the chopping up of one country, and the annexation of its amputated parts by other countries, under the intrigue and threat of the Great Powers, can have awful consequences. What we presume is the ambition of some of Syria's neighbors, including Israel, to carve up, and divvy up sections of a balkanized Syria, should give us all pause to reflect, given the chance that history might make a bad turn, and God forbid, repeat itself.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 25 2013 7:55 utc | 81

'I find it a bit immature and hasty'

you mean 'premature'!

Posted by: brian | Nov 25 2013 8:15 utc | 82

Harry @ 37

As far as I understand US law, president can only remove sanctions which he enacted himself, by Executive Orders. Most of the sanctions against Iran are passed by Congress, i.e. president has no authority to remove them.

The President doesn't have to repeal anything, he just has to "enforce" the laws in a very unproductive and obstructive way, so unproductive and obstructive that they are pointless. The draughters of the US constitution understood that there might be problems between the President and Congress and allowed the President a lot of flexibility:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

There is nothing in his oath about enforcing the laws of the United States and if he places the most unproductive, obstructive bureaucrat in the history of the United States in charge of the sanctions regime against Iran with a miniscule budget and no resources, he can still claim he is faithfully executing his office(whatever that means).

Posted by: blowback | Nov 25 2013 8:21 utc | 83

As I said my writing skills suck. Yes, premature was what I meant.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 25 2013 8:33 utc | 84

The deal was done with much skill and diplomacy and will certainly lead to a change in lebanese and syrian politics.the nuclear issue was a chip in the bargaining process.this is all about syria

Posted by: fred | Nov 25 2013 9:16 utc | 85

@82 Not to mention that the more intrusive of those US sanctions are "third party" sanctions i.e. they don't target USA/Iran trade, but instead target other countries who dare to defy the Imperial Will Of America by taking it upon themselves to trade with Iran.

If those countries simply ignore that Imperial Will and Obama decides he can't really be bothered to punish them then.... those sanctions are toast, regardless of what the Congress says.

Posted by: Johnboy | Nov 25 2013 10:16 utc | 86

WASHINGTON (AP) -- With their destination and mission among America's closest guarded secrets, the small group of officials hand-picked by President Barack Obama boarded a military plane in March.

The travel plans of the U.S. diplomats and foreign policy advisers were not on any public itineraries. No reception greeted them as they landed. But awaiting the Americans in the remote and ancient Gulf sultanate of Oman was the reason for all the secrecy: a delegation of Iranians ready to meet them.

It was at this first high-level gathering at a secure location in the Omani capital of Muscat, famous for its souk filled with frankincense and myrrh, that the Obama administration began laying the groundwork for this weekend's historic nuclear pact between world powers and Iran, The Associated Press has learned.

Even America's closest allies were kept in the dark. ...

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 25 2013 14:06 utc | 87

Cartman again?

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 25 2013 14:07 utc | 88

Johnboy | 85

If those countries simply ignore that Imperial Will and Obama decides he can't really be bothered to punish them then.... those sanctions are toast, regardless of what the Congress says.

Obviously Iran's blockade would be over in such case, but we are a decade away from that or so (if Status Quo remains). Despite all the talks how US grip is over, etc., its still very much intact as we speak, and wont change in the near future.

And again, Obama wont go dictatorial and outright break US laws by ignoring Congress on this issue. He pulled Libya's bombing as a "its not a war, I promise!", where he circumvented Congress, but this wont fly with established extensive net of anti-Iranian laws. I would be happy proven wrong, but you'll see for yourself.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 25 2013 14:17 utc | 89

@ #85

Not to mention that the more intrusive of those US sanctions are "third party" sanctions i.e. they don't target USA/Iran trade, but instead target other countries who dare to defy the Imperial Will Of America by taking it upon themselves to trade with Iran.

Why do you think the EU(apart from France who is in an economic hole no matter what) is so keen to make this happen? Spain and Italy are already trading on the black market with Iran . Yes we are buying Saffron from Spain or Risotto with saffron from Italy but they are grown in Iran. Pistachio, caviar and other items.

In a couple of yrs I would like to see France begging to get in , when the Brits and Americans w/o mentioning China and Russia start trading with Iran.
Here is another example:

“ But it’s in the American national interest to try to make this negotiation work. If it’s not in the Israeli interest or the Saudi interest, so be it.”

Posted by: Yul | Nov 25 2013 14:54 utc | 90

This statement by the Iranian spokesman just recently released:

Iranian Government Spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht confirmed the release of $8bln of Iran’s blocked assets by the US administration.

Posted by: curious | Nov 25 2013 15:01 utc | 91

Despite all the negatives, understood -- on the optimistic side, one should also take into account, imho, that when Obama (for ex.) says xyz sanctions remain in place, he is tongue-twisting, a) to convince, reassure, his audience, b) because what is mouthed in public or even written down, legislated, does not correspond to what pertains on the ground, and everyone knows it.

Sanctions are easily circumvented, legally or not, in many cases merely not known, or simply ignored, and

USIsr have not been able to enforce them.

(As it would mean curbing the Financial Sector, major trades like oil, quarrels with other countries, powerful lobbies, companies, etc.)

Often, sanctions are enforced on small businesses as emblems, while bigger entities escape them. That is one reason to not even think about the sums quoted, they are absolutely meaningless without a clear description of the Economy of Iran, lacking.

The ‘market’ has reacted favorably to this deal, e.g. Israeli stocks have risen, and oil price has come down - not that that means much except to say that Finance, commodity traders, etc. see no negative aspects... they have Clout, with a big C, believe it. Obi is a creature of Wall St., in part.

Iraq was supposed to get MacDos, girly discos, foreign Telecoms, Big Media TV, sell its oil cheap and be all cuddly embracing towards US mega-agriculture and personal debt. Heh. Other approaches might be better: cheaper in lives (arms..) and money, etc. (Not approving, just describing.)

Read one Gvmt. link for legislative over-reach and absurdity from the US Dpt. of Treasury.

Heh I wondered if anyone would say Xymphora wrote Barry might win the peace prize after all.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 25 2013 15:51 utc | 92

Having observed the diplomatic activity of the past few weeks - and the fact that the negotiations have largely been leak-proofed - it's blindingly obvious that there is a significant re-alignment going on. For the first time, all the relevant parties are heading in the same direction. The fact that Netanyahu looks so pissed off and the Saudis are frantically bitching to all and sundry confirms that the process is both real and substantive, and they're floundering off-balance because of it.

Just review the breakthroughs: More direct US-Iranian principal to principal/president-to-president contact in the space of less than a month than in the preceding 34 years; and publicly acknowledged by BOTH sides.

Foreign ministers publicly shuttling to concretise the process, and attendant governmental PR operations that are positive towards that process; it's no longer a cynical box-ticking exercise in which the motions are gone through in the hope of grounding justifications for future actions. Much of the standard rhetorical boilerplate about the usual Iranian perfidy, untrustworthiness etc has been ditched in favour of a far more positive "we're doing the business" approach.

The French wobbly can now be discounted for what it really was - in the space between the first round ( where they nearly closed the deal until Hollande chucked the spanner ) and this weekend, was the Dubai airshow, with it's $150 billion of aircraft orders from Gulf players, a non-trivial slice of which went to Airbus ( ie France inc ).

Posted by: dan | Nov 25 2013 16:04 utc | 93

We seem to say that Israel was not aware of this deal prior to it being signed. You telling me head of the USA Iran's nuclear file a nutty Zionist and the Fabius were not in communication with Israel. This is a spin. The main interest of israel is to destroy the Christians and Muslims, or at least have subservient religious leaders, and get the second khazar empire with it's capital in haifa. SA aim is to get a Wahabbi Caliphate. If you read the book Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler you will see that history is repeating itself. In order for both these nutty ideas to be successful, Syria must be torn apart.

Posted by: hans | Nov 25 2013 16:06 utc | 94

After fiasco and debacle of the Eastern Partnership policy, Ukraine is latest example, headed by German Štefan Füle. Old German globalist and pawn Joschka Fischer is in Tehran. Is this exploratory mission for German capital and industry remain to be seen.

Germany and its oligarchy ("greens" as well) is vehement sponsor of reactionary fascist regimes around the world. Thus it is a case with Syria they just love "opposition", but that is not problem for them to setup reconstruction fund with Qatar. I am puzzled who is going to give them chance and what is going to be entry point of their "help".

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 25 2013 16:33 utc | 95

Bevin, imo, is making a time old hopium mistake by giving any credence to either Sanders or Warren. We in the US are in that very short non election cycle period where a little bit of nice talk by a few left sounding politicians placate the entire center to so-called left into inaction. For neither of these two, even if they could raise a billion bucks would take on the Clinton Obama types in earnest... only in fecklessness.

Warren and Sanders will both shut up and support the far neoliberal wings of their parties (Sanders is as aligned with the Demo party as Warren) as soon as the next serious O'vote in the Senate really needs them or as the next election cycle heats up. If they don't they will be Dean screamed off the public stage in less than a week.

Their votes on Obamney not care alone were despicable... neoliberal as it gets. And it was a time where one lefty with a no vote spine could have made a huge impact.

On the issue at hand, Iran, as well as with Syria recently we see time and again the overwhelming war mongering in/by both parties. They cannot be changed from within by people who only got their position from the sources of the problem.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Nov 25 2013 16:57 utc | 96
Pepe on the deal

Posted by: Mina | Nov 25 2013 17:38 utc | 97

Eureka Springs @96. I don't disagree with you at all.
What I am saying is that once these issues get amplified they will develop lives of their own. Sanders and Warren may do as they please, very likely fall in line, but the ideas of practical anti-liberal policies will take off.
As "Occupy" showed there is a widespread appetite for something new and radical. And its growing.
There's a big difference between calling for change and calling for higher pensions, better wages, more jobs and other specific reforms.

Austerity at home and wild extravagance abroad simply does not compute, in the minds of ordinary people.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 25 2013 19:34 utc | 98

@76, your meaning was clear; it was an ironical jab at Western arrogance.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 25 2013 22:50 utc | 99

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