Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 03, 2021

Nuclear Talks - Western Negotiators Fail To Recognize Iran's Position

This week new negotiations about a U.S. return to the nuclear deal with Iran took place. To set these into context and to understand the various positions it is helpful to look back at how this came to pass.


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In 2015 the Iranian government, the five members of the UN Security Council and Germany agreed on a deal (JCPOA) that would lift sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on Iran's nuclear developments. The deal happened after a lengthy period during which Iran had been under global sanctions.

But even with the deal in place then U.S. president Barack Obama did not lift all the sanctions he had agreed to lift. Iran's economic situation recovered a bit after the deal but never to the extend that had been expected. Still in general both sides stuck to the deal. Iran limited its nuclear program which was also put under continuous IAEA inspections.

Donald Trump, the next U.S president, did not like the deal. Israel and his donors told him to end it to later goad him into attacking Iran. In May 2018 the U.S. left the deal and reimposed sanctions.

Iran waited for a full year. It then started to expand its nuclear program under a clause in the deal that allowed it to do so when other participants do not fulfill their promises. The program has since made quite significant progress towards higher enriched Uranium.

The Trump administration expanded the sanctions against Iran under a 'maximum pressure' campaign. These new sanctions were often not directly related to Iran's nuclear program and hit entities that had no relations to it. The point was to create so many 'unrelated' sanctions that any of Trump's successors would have problems to remove them and to reenter into the nuclear deal.

During the 2020 election campaign now president Joe Biden promised to reenter the nuclear deal. But even several months after he took office nothing had happened on the U.S. side. Instead of simply removing the sanctions Trump had imposed the Biden administration wanted Iran to give more for less. Next to a reduction of Iran's nuclear program it also wanted to prolong the deal, add new negotiations about Iran's ballistic missile program and still keep some of the sanctions.

During the same time Israel waged a secret war on Iran by sabotaging its nuclear program and by killing its nuclear scientists.

After some stops and goes new negotiations were launched in 2020. Six rounds of talks followed during which a scheme of step by step, sanction releases against nuclear program reductions, were agreed upon. But one clause the U.S. insisted upon led to breakdown of the negotiations. The U.S. wanted the ability to reimpose all sanctions unless Iran agreed to serious negotiations about its ballistic missile program and its support for resistance groups in the Middle East. Neither of these issues were part of the original nuclear deal.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rejected those conditions and the negotiations broke down. Meanwhile elections in Iran put a less liberal government into place.

The new government had criticized the previous one for giving in to U.S. demands. The U.S. expected the new government of Iran to immediately return to negotiation table and to start from where the previous negotiations had stopped. The new Iranian government was never likely to do that. It took time for the incoming Iranian administration to work its way through all the details of previous negotiations and to agree to a new strategy.

This week new negotiations between Iran, the other JCPOA members and the U.S. took place in Vienna.

The new Iranian negotiation team presented two papers. One describes all the sanctions Iran expects to get lifted and the measures that need to be taken to guarantee that these will not be arbitrarily imposed again. The second paper describes how Iran will reduce its nuclear program after the lifting of sanctions has been verified.

Iran's demands are now stronger than some of the points the previous Iranian negotiation team had asked for and which it had preliminarily agreed upon.

The 'western' participants of the negotiations badmouthed the new Iranian requests:

The nuclear negotiators for the E3 – France, Germany and the U.K. – told Iranian negotiators in coordination with the U.S. that the opening proposals they presented in Vienna nuclear talks this week were unserious and unacceptable, an E3 diplomat briefed on the talks said.
...
  • The E3 diplomat said the draft on sanctions relief was extreme and maximalist, with the Iranians increasing their sanctions relief demands in comparison to the draft agreement achieved with the previous Rouhani government last June.
  • The second draft on Iranian nuclear measures was also very hardline. The E3 diplomat said the Iranians removed all of the previously agreed compromise language on steps they will take to roll back their nuclear program. In practice, the Iranians agree to fewer limitations on their nuclear program.

That is not what Iran has asked for or demanded.

The request by Iran is a return to the state of the original deal before the U.S. left it and reimposed sanctions. Iran also wants some form of guarantee that the U.S., after a potential return to the deal, will not again leave it.

These requests are not 'hardline' but quite reasonable.

Iran is now expecting a statement from the other side that would constitute a reasonable offer and opening position. Differences between the proposals by each side could then be talked about.

The 'west' has so far made no such offer but insist to go back to the state of the previous negotiations and to the concession the Rouhani administration had made. However the supreme leader and the Iranian electorate have rejected those positions. They elected the new President Ebrahim Raisi because he insists on a full return to the original deal while rejecting any further conditions.

Today, after a second day of negotiations, the delegations went back to their home countries. They will reconvene next week for another round.

The U.S. and its 'western' proxies will the have to make their position clear. Does the U.S. want to go back to the original deal or will it keep insisting on a much bigger one?

If the U.S. takes the second path the negotiations will fail. Iran will then leave the JCPOA deal. It will restrict supervision by the IAEA and it will further develop its nuclear program. Since its founding the Republic of Iran has consistently rejected the use of weapons of mass destruction for religious-ideological reasons. This even while it was under gas attacks during the Iran-Iraq war. That position might however not prevent it from building and testing some nukes.

The Biden administration and opponents of the nuclear deal claim to have a Plan B should the negotiations fail.

They would keep sanctions on Iran and add new ones. The plan would also include military threats.

However - before the original deal was negotiated China and Russia took part in the sanction regime against Iran. Now they are supporting Iran's position. China is buying oil from Iran and is investing in Iranian infrastructure. Russia recently signed a deal with Iran about the development of Iranian gas fields in the Caspian Sea. Neither country would participate in a new sanctions regime. Without them new 'western' sanctions against Iran will have little effect.

There is also no believable military threat that can be made against Iran. Any bombing of its nuclear facilities would only drive those underground and without IAEA supervision. Any attack would be responded to with attacks on U.S. bases in the Middle East. Should a real war break out Israel would also come under fire from Iranian allies in Syria and Lebanon. That would be its end.

If the U.S. (and Israel) want to keep limits on Iran's nuclear program there is only one way. A full return to the JCPOA deal including the lifting of all sanction the Trump administration had imposed onto Iran.

The U.S. may not like such a deal but it is the only one it can have.

Posted by b on December 3, 2021 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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The US is not politically capable of agreeing to Iran's terms, reasonable though they are. There will be no deal, just an attempt to string things along for as long as possible.

Posted by: the pessimist | Dec 3 2021 18:28 utc | 1

a clear and cogent analysis, the best I've seen. Clearly b is very talented if sometimes wrong.

Posted by: Mathew | Dec 3 2021 18:31 utc | 2

"If the U.S. (and Israel) want to keep limits on Iran's nuclear program" they don't, they are just looking for a stick to beat up Iran. Obama made the deal after endless negotiation because china en Russia would back out. It was a Jewish promise, never meant to keep.

Posted by: gary | Dec 3 2021 18:33 utc | 3

yep, exactly b. you hit the nail on the head.

Posted by: annie | Dec 3 2021 18:34 utc | 4

Gotta have that dollar on top, no matter what.

Examining my country’s foreign policy is depressing.

It’s fucking dog eat dog, and the US won’t let another dog eat.

Another great post, b.
Keep it up

Posted by: Cadence Calls | Dec 3 2021 18:39 utc | 5

"It's the only one it can have" is absolutely correct, but it will not accept that reality because the Outlaw US Empire doesn't accept any reality that doesn't conform to its newly formed Meme-vision--whatever lie it spouts it treats as the truth: from Woke to 10,000 genders. It's performance at yesterdays OSCE Forum proves that beyond doubt. Furthermore, there remains the issue of Iran's avenging Soleimani's assassination which has yet to be completed. IMO, the Outlaw US Empire will have no negotiating position until it satisfies Iran's terms and it rejoins the JCPOA--only then can any further negotiations proceed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 3 2021 18:40 utc | 6

Pepe Escobar has a surprise— a real game changer! Pepe provides a little history for those who are unaware, and then comes the big news, and it's called Chalous!

http://thesaker.is/russia-is-primed-for-a-persian-gulf-security-makeover/

. . . and I don't know how Pepe deals with all this info — except that he is totally brilliant, and since I 'know' everything is interrelated:

Pepe's take on RFK Jr.'s recent revelations!

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/fauci-as-darth-vader-of-the-covid-wars/

Posted by: Ellie | Dec 3 2021 18:40 utc | 7

The United States is nothing but theater of the absurd at this point. Its ridiculousness can only invite ridicule. This, of course, while its society at large is in free-fall disintegration. Distraction is the only stratagem left.

JCPOA renewal was never in the cards of a Biden administration which has adopted all of Trump's policies.

Posted by: gottlieb | Dec 3 2021 18:45 utc | 8

...
Since its founding the Republic of Iran has consistently rejected the use of weapons of mass destruction for religious-ideological reasons. This even while it was under gas attacks during the Iran-Iraq war. That position might however not prevent it from building and testing some nukes.

Wow! Brilliant lateral thinking, b!

"Testing" vs "Use" is not a fine line and is so perfectly logical that even the dumbass Jewed-up Christians will be able to figure it out.
I'd love to hear Xi and Putin's opinion on that proposal.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 3 2021 18:51 utc | 9

come now. It's so obvious(at least to ME), the "talks" are more fakery by USA/EU and are designed to fail. After that, the US will have an excuse to attack Iran militarily.
the whole J whatever the name is was a fake by West to keep Iran down and and for Iran to win time. None of it was for real, except for Russia and China who once again fell for the West's fakery. The West aren't listening to Iran, the same way they arent listening to either Russia and China. And Putin is oince again sitting on the fence instead of firmly declaring he is behind Iran and will halp them in case of an attack. Putin even stopped the deliveries of S-300 a few years ago. But he cant do that, cuz Putin is still kissing and licking QUI's ass.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Dec 3 2021 19:07 utc | 10

and yes an attack on Iran is in USA's mind simply because USA cannot imagine they are weaker than Iran and that they cannot destroy Iran, as crazy as it sounds. QUI is STILL controlling the show and wagging the dog(USA). Yes, this WILL crash the world's economy, but maybe that's a feature of the plan, NOT a bug.
Who is qui, you ask? this is qui https://imgur.com/n7b6gTS

Posted by: Hoyeru | Dec 3 2021 19:14 utc | 11

@10 So you have managed to turn a well reasoned piece by b into another anti-Putin attack.

Mind telling us who you think should replace Putin?

Posted by: dh | Dec 3 2021 19:18 utc | 12

I think we all know by now that the issue of sanctions over the nuclear program is an excuse.

The problem to the West is not an alleged Iranian nuclear weapon, it's the Iranial missile program, the strength and reach of the IRGC and its support to proxies in the neighboring civil wars (Hezbollah, Ansar Allah). That's what is tilting the wars in the favor of the Asix of Resistance.

That said, it means that the sanctions and disputes will continue sine die. There's no way an agreement could be reached, since it works against the West strategic position.

Posted by: Andres | Dec 3 2021 19:28 utc | 13

A number of us MoA barflies have written for years about the controlled demolition of empire that we see occurring without going nuclear.

This self destruction is what is needed and I think the Reuters posting title below says it is happening

"
U.S. State Department phones hacked with Israeli company spyware
"

And it was Apple that told the State Dept they were being hacked.......grin

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 3 2021 19:51 utc | 14

A analysis of what Israel & US can do, and it's not so much they can do. As B said!
https://www.timesofisrael.com/he-led-idf-intel-gathering-on-iran-was-ignored-and-fears-israel-is-now-paying-price/

Posted by: _AL_ | Dec 3 2021 19:51 utc | 15

Thanks for the article b.
The "plan B" link is one massive clusterfuck of dreams of violence. Makes one nearly pass out. Barely a word about the peace deal that the author's country dishonoured. FFS why can't Washington+admirers for once in history get in their heads that all of their "enemies"(seemingly most of the world) are simply after peace?

Posted by: Dim sim | Dec 3 2021 19:58 utc | 16

The problem to the West is not an alleged Iranian nuclear weapon, it's the Iranial missile program, the strength and reach of the IRGC and its support to proxies in the neighboring civil wars (Hezbollah, Ansar Allah). That's what is tilting the wars in the favor of the Asix of Resistance.

That said, it means that the sanctions and disputes will continue sine die. There's no way an agreement could be reached, since it works against the West strategic position.

Posted by: Andres | Dec 3 2021 19:28 utc | 13

The basic problem Israel has with Iran is Iran. Israel wants to dominate the Middle East itself, and Iran is a big obstacle to that. The USA quite agrees, and was only happy with Iran when our stooge was running it. The missiles prevent doing something about Iran. The give it deterrence. The nuke issue is also about getting Iran.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 3 2021 20:03 utc | 17

The West is simply incapable of seeing the writing on the wall. In addition to Escobar, who is always worth reading, the latest post by Bradrakumar on Indian Punchline, As UAE embraces Iran, fizz goes pop for Abraham Accords, also tells a story.
The world is changing, yes, and not before time.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Dec 3 2021 20:09 utc | 18

From reading b's recap of the JCPOA to now - and the "maximum pressure" sanctions, hacking, sabotages, assassinations of scientists - is the lesson for the rest of world that:

Any time the Americans (Anglos/Israel) have a team negotiating something with you, they probably also have other teams underhandedly undermining you in as many ways as they can.

This seems to be a recent example out of a long historical pattern. Is this a tradition of the culture of Perfidious Albion?

In that culture, is "negotiating from a position of strength" a sociopathic euphemism for pretending to negotiate on the one hand while actively undermining on the other hand?

It seems this culture is not only non-agreement-capable after negotiating and agreeing to something, but also non-sincere-negotiation-capable in the first place.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Dec 3 2021 20:10 utc | 19

TLDR; It's posturing for the political class, long ago emptied of meaning for anyone else.

US hawks' stranglehold over the policy apparatus shows indication of changing. Thus, it's impossible not to expect that they will sabotage any new agreement at their earliest opportunity. Just as they did with JCPOA as soon as the US administration changed.

Posted by: ptb | Dec 3 2021 20:24 utc | 20

As others before me are hinting, sanctions aren't a means to an end but an end in the themselves.

One definite advantage of economic warfare, as opposed to straight up carpet bombing, is that it is completely invisible in the eyes of the belligerent citizenry. This is the little western miracle at work. Now, these are good folks that understand the notion of hard times, people who worry about unemployment statistics and know the value of essential goods. People who are also discovering the limits of supply and distribution of consumer products. Yet amazingly, these same people are incapable of the slightest empathy and simply refuse to imagine the type of devastation wrought by years of economic warfare on places like Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Syria, etc...

I'm willing to bet that the US will:
1. double down on its sanctions
2. increase pressure on 3rd parties to follow suit.

This day and age, sanctions are perishable goods in the Imperial arsenal. The choice is to use them or lose them.

Posted by: robin | Dec 3 2021 20:45 utc | 22

@ 1 pessimist

Absolutely right in my opinion. The US exceptionalists will never concede anything to Iran, but they would consider using "the best military in the universe" to punish Iran for not conceding to them. Whilst such an option would be unbelievable to clear thinkers I do not think there are many of those left in the anglozionist halls of power.

Posted by: TEP | Dec 3 2021 21:00 utc | 23

Posted by b

Should a real war break out Israel would also come under fire from Iranian allies in Syria and Lebanon. That would be its end.

So here are three countries that have been on the receiving end of Israel's belligerence for decades.

The first has suffered waves of covert attacks on industrial sites (including nuclear) and serial murders of high profile personalities, both civilian and military. Another country has seen an entire province stolen five decades ago. For years it has suffered weekly areal attacks on both military and civilian targets (including an international airport). The third country has been devastated by a decade long civil war and has absolutely no sovereignty over its airspace.

So what's the deal with these three countries? How could they allow themselves to be so thoroughly abused by Israel while at the same time holding the power to spell its end?

Posted by: robin | Dec 3 2021 21:08 utc | 24

can someone explain France's rigid position in this deal? I don't understand what they want. or think they can get.

Posted by: mastameta | Dec 3 2021 21:13 utc | 25

Sputnik have an article claiming that the USA have terminated their negotiations with Iran.

"The US has suddenly pulled out of talks aimed at returning to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran and six other nations, claiming Tehran isn't "serious" about the negotiations."

https://sputniknews.com/20211203/us-ends-vienna-talks-says-iran-not-serious-about-meeting-jcpoa-compliance-standards-1091232448.html


Posted by: SoMuchToLearn | Dec 3 2021 21:20 utc | 26

So Iran's "missile program" has the empire's panties all in a bunch? Like being economically buried alive by China, this problem for the empire is only going to grow.

First read through Escobar's article that Ellie @7 linked from The Saker. Visualize that development of the Chalous gas field being executed by Russia and Iran with few issues, and a decade from now many scores of $billions in trade opening up to Iran.

Second recall that Iran is in the top 5 countries globally where STEM graduates are concerned, and arguably they produce more than the US when you consider that more than half of America's STEM grads are international students.

Iran is not a small, backwards, and insignificant country. Like Russia they are diversifying their economy, and one way to do that when you have a glut of STEM grads and access to growing wealth of resources is a civilian space program.

I think it is even odds that Iran could beat India to being the fourth country (after Russia/USSR, the US, and China) to independently send humans to and from orbit. The supply chains that such projects develop have very good economic multipliers and enable many other national capabilities. A civilian space program also moots any complaints about Iran's missiles.

That might sound outlandish right now given the difficulties Iran's economy currently faces with the empire's sanctions, but the fundamentals are in place and it is a logical progression for Iran if they can get out from under Uncle Scam's heel. It would also represent a challenge to the declining empire's narratives about Iran that would be difficult to spin into jingoism.

Basically, I see Iran becoming a recognized technological powerhouse in the next couple decades, and a manned space program will just be one part of that. Concern about Iran's missiles will lose its urgency in that process.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 3 2021 21:21 utc | 27

Dictionary definition of Terrorism:

"the unlawful use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or government, with the goal of furthering political, social, or ideological objectives."

Headline (today):
"Israel Threatens Attack On Iran If Vienna Nuclear Talks Don't Go Its Way"

So Izrael is a terrorist nation.
You already knew this.

---
A bit unnerved by one word in the dictionary definition: "unlawful"
A great big door for warmongers to slither thru.
---

I went to the FBI site and was not surprised to see their definition is
basically, "terrorists (and their terrorism) are who we say they are".

"International terrorism: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups who are inspired by, or associated with, designated foreign terrorist organizations or nations (state-sponsored). "

They have a definition for Domestic terrorism. I wonder how recent that addition is.

Posted by: librul | Dec 3 2021 21:25 utc | 28

Lo que Estados Unidos firma con la mano con el codo lo borra. Eso es lo único que le pueden garantizar a Irán. No recuerdo un sólo tratado que hayan cumplido en toda su historia.

Posted by: Frasco | Dec 3 2021 21:55 utc | 29

Thanks for putting this in a readable context and timeline, b.

One point jumps out, secondary boycotts:

"These new sanctions were often not directly related to Iran's nuclear program and hit entities that had no relations to it. The point was to create so many 'unrelated' sanctions that any of Trump's successors would have problems to remove them and to reenter into the nuclear deal..."

Secondary boycotts are illegal under Australian law, particularly if trade unions engage in them. Note, s 45D of the Trade Practices Act.

"The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has indicated that it intends to become more active in the area of industrial disputes by reactivating the use of secondary boycott actions. While there have been some notable cases where damages and substantial penalties have been imposed on trade unions that have engaged in secondary boycotts, these proceedings are highly complex and involve substantial evidentiary hurdles...."
https://www.mondaq.com/australia/cartels-monopolies/334700/secondary-boycott-actions-under-the-competition-and-consumer-act-2010

Meanwhile, the US asserts it's domestic law has universal extra territorial jurisdiction. Bullshit.

Posted by: Paul | Dec 3 2021 22:04 utc | 30

Antiwar.com site has a couple of brief articles: "israel orders us to halt alks, and "blink not optimistic"

New report that us terminated vienna talks, Iran not serious.

Of course, no surprise, blink reading from the script prepared by israel,exist talking points evident from day one, and on we go!

Posted by: Thomas | Dec 3 2021 22:07 utc | 31

errata: #31:

"talking" points

Exit talking points

Posted by: Thomas | Dec 3 2021 22:10 utc | 32

great summation b... thank you....

the big difference 5 or 6 years on is that china and russia are now supporting iran.... iran is where the squeeze is taking place.. usa-israel and poodles on one side and china-russia on the other side with the focus on iran, thanks israels obsession and the usa's willingness to be led by israel... it is a sad state of affairs and i can't see it working out for the aggressors here, especially as time moves on... time is on iran, china and russias side... if the response to the attack on iran with the downed ukraine plane is any indication, iran is prepared... how stupid does the west want to be? don't answer that question!

@22 robin.. i agree with your speculation but don't believe it is going to be enough moving forward..

Posted by: james | Dec 3 2021 22:13 utc | 33

Ok, so after all these months, exactly WHAT did Bennett and Putin talk about for *five hours* when the former went to Moscow (after Nudelman, before Burns visit I seem to remember)? Thejoint communique made it sound "warm and friendly" of course since this was apparent outcome was in boths interest.

But the FIVE HOURS bit caught my attention. Sounded like intractable negociation to me. So was Bennett trying to get Putin to stand aside if Israel made a hit on Iran, and perhaps the Ukraine situation that is getting *very* ugly right now given the NATO/Blinken/Lavrov statements these last two days, was the consequence to Russia of not acquiescing? What do the rest of the folks here think happened at that meeting?

Posted by: Simplicius | Dec 3 2021 22:25 utc | 34

"Buyer beware", should be everyone's first response to ANYTHING pushed constantly by MSM nowadays, since they're owned and operated by people who's ONLY concerns involve profits.

Inform yourself as you can, AND MAKE A DECISION, whatever that looks like.

Best of luck.......

Posted by: vetinLA | Dec 3 2021 23:00 utc | 35

Oil prices. Oil prices. Oil prices.
'Corporate Oil of America' needs prices to always be somewhere between 50 and 100.
Below 50: They lose all chance of profit from US (fracked) oil. It also means that the Saudi's can't afford to re-inject so many dollars through the purchase of pointless military equipment.
Above 100: People/Imperial dependents start to seriously seek alternative energy sources.

If Iran (or Venezuela for that matter) were allowed to freely sell on the world market then prices would drop below 50... Thus the US will simply not allow this to happen.

So, yeah sure, the Empire hates Iran and wants to starve the Iranians, for their Israeli buddies, with sanctions and blockades but the main goal is to stop the Iranians from selling Oil. The US would prefer a nuclear Iran that can't effect oil prices over a non-nuclear Iran that can effect oil prices.

Posted by: køns | Dec 3 2021 23:07 utc | 36

Bemildred @21--

Just finished reading the Sputnik report you linked, and what Blinken utters is 100% projection--it's the outlaw US Empire that's "not serious" about returning to the original JCPOA.

What does this actually entail? The rhetoric about Iran seeking a nuke gets reset back to 1990 with one major exception--Iran can now defend itself and even project power regionally when in 1990 it was busy recovering from the Outlaw US Empire's proxy war waged upon Iran by using Iraq. And that emphasized bit is of paramount importance when it comes to Iran's negotiating posture and how it views its adversaries. The Outlaw US Empire will always be The Great Satan in Iranian eyes for at least another century.

I went to see if former Iranian FM Zarif had tweeted anything recently on this topic. "Iran never left to do a 'mutual return to JCPOA'. The US did.":

"@USEnvoyIran is exploiting the change of administration in Iran & "memory lapse" of E3/EU to rewrite recent history. Iran never left to do a "mutual return to JCPOA". The US did.

"To review documents of US—and E3—'non-implementation' of JCPOA, please see undocs.org/A/75/968."

Those docs have a cover letter attached to them which I posted here at the time and discussed some of their major points:

"Letter dated 20 July 2021 from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General.

"I have the honour to transmit herewith a letter dated 20 July 2021 from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif, containing a thorough review of the challenges in the implementation of Security Council resolution 2231 (2015) and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action during the past six years (see annex).*"

Zarif's letter provides and has become the most important Primary Source of this entire charade in a compact form. As far as I know, neither the EU/3 or Outlaw US Empire sent their version of events in a letter to the UN Secretary General. This is the second paragraph after the introductory first:

'The Security Council in its Resolution 2231 has affirmed “that conclusion of the JCPOA marks a fundamental shift in its consideration of this issue…”1 The purported over-arching purpose of all terminated resolutions of the UN Security Council on the Iranian nuclear issue was to reach “a diplomatic, negotiated solution that guarantees Iran’s nuclear programme is for exclusively peaceful purposes.”2 That “diplomatic, negotiated solution” was reached, in a final and comprehensive manner, in the form of the JCPOA3, endorsed by UNSCR 22314. Iran implemented the JCPOA fully and in good faith5; it provided the IAEA with all the access it needed under the JCPOA and implemented the Additional Protocol; and all outstanding issues of the past were resolved to the satisfaction of the IAEA Board of Governors6. Indeed, as much as the deal fell short of providing Iran with the benefits of sanctions lifting due to—as will be shown in the following paragraphs—mala fide and insincerity on the part of the United States and lack of will and aptitude on the part of the EU/E3, it proved to be a solid solution in meeting concerns claimed in terminated UNSC resolutions, thus rendering them not just terminated but factually and legally obsolete.' [numbers are to end notes]

As one can see, Iran was satisfied with the outcome of JCPOA as an instrument in solving numerous outstanding issues, but Obama failed to uphold the Outlaw US Empire's part of the overall bargain, and Trump just finished what Obama began. And that's where we are. The reality is the JCPOA will continue to exist as it was the instrument that nullified the UNSC resolutions mentioned above; that cannot be changed by any nation. Legally, the Outlaw US Empire and the EU/3 are in violation of UNSCR 22314 and have yet to be held accountable for their violations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 3 2021 23:09 utc | 37

@ Simplicius | Dec 3 2021 22:25 utc | 34 with the question about the meeting between Putin and Bennett that went for 5 hours

Good question.

I think you are correct in assuming the bit about letting Occupied Palestine be a bully. This is why our world is in such a state. There are limits being forced on empire that it has not found ways to overcome. Nukes are off limits it would seem or we would have seen them before now unless total extinction type event. I believe we are experiencing bio-terrorism with actual and potential nasty outcomes yet to be experienced.

As you have probably read from me before, I consider humanity to be in a civilization war.
While in the past I have focused that war on the control of finance, now reading the Graeber/Wengrow The Dawn Of Everything, I am rethinking the focus. The book has reintroduced me to the term 'schismogenesis', coined by Gregory Bateson in the 1930's to describe people's tendency to define themselves against one another.
In the book, the authors seek to extend that concept to being between societies as well as within.
What is emerging as I think about this is the the Left/Right meme is schismogenesis being magnified by the Top of our Top/Bottom world. I think the same is true of the between society's propaganda deluge we are experiencing.

We are an interesting species......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 3 2021 23:28 utc | 38

As has been explained before here and elsewhere, the US, EU and Israel problem with Iran is not her nuclear program. Even if Iran was to agree to all the west nuclear terms, like the 2015 agreement that wouldn’t be enough for the US and her satrapies.Since their actual problem with Iran is what Iran is not willing to negotiate meaning her regional influence and her military means to defend these strategic gains. So without limiting Irans regional influence and the mean to protect these influence (missile and air defense programs) no negotiations is worthwhile for the US. Bottom line, US can not maintain her influence on her satrapies in Europe or western Asia along with a sovereign independent powerful civilizational state like Iran in Iran’s region.

Posted by: kooshy | Dec 3 2021 23:33 utc | 39

Re: "not serious" ... big words from Biden's foreign policy team, who made the agreements when the US agreed to JCPOA in the first place, and pretended to care when US under Trump unilaterally violated the central terms of the agreement.

Saves time with the charade. Next Topic Please!

Posted by: ptb | Dec 3 2021 23:35 utc | 40

Simplicius @34--

Five hours isn't that long when you must get to know someone to some degree of depth. Occupied Palestine has a great number of dual-citizen Russians living there, and it's Russian policy to do what it can to look after the interests of its overseas citizens. Furthermore, It's Russian policy to do its utmost to remain on good terms with all Southwest Asian political entities as it's in Russia's interest to see a lasting peace established, meaning the problem of Palestine must be solved. Did you know that China wants to include Palestine in its BRI?. It's very easy to fall into the sort of trap that's captured the Outlaw US Empire, much of which is the result of its own making; while it's much harder to be seen by all members of that region as a trustworthy negotiator. It's important to recall that much of what is spouted by Occupied Palestine politicos is meant for domestic consumption.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 4 2021 0:06 utc | 41

Ali Khamenei never really wanted the JCPOA, mostly because he didn't trust the US. Certainly nothing has changed in that regard, it's even worse. And Iran now with more capabilities, with regional power thanks to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and backed up by China and Russia, and getting closer to Gulf autocracies (esp. UAE), and Afghanistan, with the Abraham Accords only a dim memory, is just killing time until the US throws up its hands in failure (again).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 0:24 utc | 42

In reply to well stated by "b" "test" of gadget... yes, perhaps. The Text of the NPT does not seem to prohibit making all the bits, but only putting them together. At one time these machines required physically testing of the science project. But engineering now permits side-stepping the final little rodeo.

NPT is worth reading.

Posted by: Walter | Dec 4 2021 0:30 utc | 43

Looks like the West has already quit negotiating, or never even started is closer. . .
. . .from Tehran Times, an ultimate paragraph. . .
. . .Iran’s balanced and carefully drafted proposals, however, fell on deaf ears in Vienna. It seems that the blame game that Iranian media had already warned about is in the pipeline, with the Europeans, in particular France, taking the lead. The U.S. and its European allies may resort once again to the language of threat against Iran in the hope that they would succeed in making Tehran bow to their pressures. But if history is any guide, they will fail. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 0:43 utc | 44

As one can see, Iran was satisfied with the outcome of JCPOA as an instrument in solving numerous outstanding issues, but Obama failed to uphold the Outlaw US Empire's part of the overall bargain, and Trump just finished what Obama began. And that's where we are. The reality is the JCPOA will continue to exist as it was the instrument that nullified the UNSC resolutions mentioned above; that cannot be changed by any nation. Legally, the Outlaw US Empire and the EU/3 are in violation of UNSCR 22314 and have yet to be held accountable for their violations.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 3 2021 23:09 utc | 37

Thanks for your comment. What can he say? He is getting stonewalled everywhere. He cannot do anything effective about it. So he sticks to the cliches he knows, harassing smaller fry, and other forms of stalling. He has lots of company in that situation these days, Sec. Blinken.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 4 2021 0:52 utc | 45

@karlof1: and let me add, he has no argument either, as you point out.

Ordinarily, back in the day, he would be able to just ignore all that and just keep bullying, but we are now, finally, in a situation where that option is less and less available, and we want more and more for nothing in return.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 4 2021 0:55 utc | 46

@44 It could just be a negotiating tactic. We will call off the talks unless ...... insert condition of choice.

Posted by: dh | Dec 4 2021 1:04 utc | 47

Psychohistorian@38:Gregory Bateson - now there's a name that brings me back memories of long ago when I would eagerly await the arrival of my CoEvolution Quarterly when I lived in the Virgin Islands. Ah the good old days.

Karlof1@41:If you have ever worked with top level executives, they tend to size up people in five minutes, not five hours. So what did they discuss? Russias' commitment to see an attack on its allies as an attack on Russia (which Putin is on record as saying)?

Read a news item that NORWAY has requested Nato keep its troops away from the Russian border in Norway. Anyone from Norge heard something to that effect?? If so, a huge tell...

Posted by: Simplicious | Dec 4 2021 2:33 utc | 48

Richard Medhurst has an hour and a half interview with Iran professor Mohammad Marandi. If you have time, it's at times rambling but loaded with inside bits and as always Marandi's insight is penetrating and brutal if you support the Empire. One revealing story he told was of his time serving in the Iran Iraq war: he was gassed twice. He talked about how Europe and the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein while Iran had to buy gas masks from N.Korea because imperial countries wouldn't sell them. Fast forward to Syria, Marandi predicted a false flag chemical attack in Douma.
Overarching theme: the Empire is falling apart, everyone else knows it (including sycophants in west Asia); imperial elites, however, DON'T know it.
bottom line, Iran's playing hardball in Vienna. They won't back down. Here is a list of what Marandi talked about.

-European diplomats pretending to be mafia bosses
-Europe's hypocrisy
-Leverage: the West has lost its leverage over Iran and desperately wants it back
-Marandi's role in Vienna. (informal)
-Power shift in the Mid East: U.S. & Europe rapidly losing, local allied countries are worried and beginning to approach China, Russia & Iran (UAE & others)
western media's role & bbc persia's role
-U.S. politics: both parties are horrific, awful, including the squad
-Iran's relations with other mid east countries is improving
-Chemical weapons in syria
-Israel (very weak)
-China, russia, Iran's growing alliance
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu9e8KOPOwk

Posted by: migueljose | Dec 4 2021 3:06 utc | 49

Concerning new Iranian gas field, this time in Caspian.

Perhaps Gasprom should formally leave participation in the project to another company, and use it to fill 40-50% of the capacity of North Stream pipelines (or just NS-2?). Necessary because of Europidiotic regulations. Turkmenistan has pipelines to China, their capacity may be increased to (another parallel pipe? should be cheaper than going through virgin lands).

One thing in favor of Iran is that the mood/strategic considerations in Russia and China are different that 5 years ago. Playing nice with NATO-brains goes nowhere, simply following the national interest goes somewhere. One can expect more multilateral projects that support national interests and irritate NATO-brains in the same time, and that include projects with Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Syria, and I hope, Yemen too.

For most of raw materials China is either the largest producer or largest importer. Absorbing more oil from Iran is not a problem, and absorbing more gas is precisely the national plan. In oil and gas, Russia needs steady prices that are low enough to keep frackers in check, a bit lower than profligate Gulfies like -- Iran is not a profligate state.

For both China and Russia, Iran having more funds is a plus, they need a closure of Eurasian circle, and Iranian market is important too -- that may be actually more of a consideration for Russia, Russia needs more exhibition projects for nuclear reactors and, coming soon, sanction-proof passenger airplanes. China has a larger variety of export products, but again, like Russia, it needs "secure back" in the form of Central Asia. That requires Iran and Afghanistan resistant to American influence.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 4 2021 3:22 utc | 50

Enough of this fairy-tale of uae looking to jump ship!!! They r just trying to come to an understanding that whatever chaos they weave don't come to burn them in their own smaaaalllll emirates. Ksa is a large enough place, uae can burn down quite easily.
So the deals they r doing is about give and take, they pull back a bit and missiles don't drop on their heads and other such mitigation efforts

Posted by: A.z | Dec 4 2021 3:34 utc | 51

Simplicious | Dec 4 2021 2:33 utc | 48

NORWAY has requested Nato keep its troops away from the Russian border in Norway. Anyone from Norge heard something to that effect?? If so, a huge tell...

OhMyGods...a sensibility pandemic threatens; the transmissibility might be high enough, likr R50*, to overwhelm the Imperialists...that will peg my Bizzarometer so hard as to bend the needle.

* R is virus Reproduction number; how many others each carrier infects.

Posted by: chu teh | Dec 4 2021 3:38 utc | 52

Posted by: Simplicius | 34

So what did Putin and Bennet talk about?
Let’s consult the modern, virtual water cooler…. His twitter. @naftalibennett

Before we reach back in time to Sochi, we see these:

Nov 24
I welcome Australia’s intent to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization in its entirety.
Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed terror organization in Lebanon responsible for countless attacks in Israel & around the world.
Thank you to my friend @ScottMorrisonMP. for your leadership.

Nov 19
Hamas is a radical Islamic group that targets innocent Israelis & seeks Israel's destruction.
I welcome the UK’s intention to declare Hamas a terrorist organization in its entirety — because that’s exactly what it is.
Thank you to my friend @BorisJohnson. for your leadership.

Nov 2
Excellent meeting with
@NarendraModi at @COP26
Narendra, I want to thank you for your historic role in shaping the ties between our countries.
Together, we can bring India-Israel relations to a whole new level and build a better & brighter future for our nations.

Oct 22: Meets with Putin.
‎סיימתי לפני שעה קלה פגישה ראשונה, מצוינת, עם נשיא רוסיה, פוטין.
‎לפוסט המלא>>
https://t.me/naftalibennett1/1398…

‎שבת שלום מסוצ‘י הרחוקה,
‎נפתלי בנט.

https://twitter.com/naftalibennett/status/1451552909871681541

https://twitter.com/naftalibennett/status/1451464806196723712

>>>>Sorry I’m not good with using translator. I read more looking at the pics anyway.):

And as a final backward glance:
Oct 19:
We mourn the passing of Colin Powell, a great American patriot and a great friend of Israel.
His bold leadership and lifelong commitment to freedom and democracy is a legacy that will forever inspire.
May his memory be a blessing.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Dec 4 2021 3:51 utc | 53

Some years ago, Kooshy and I were inveterate bloggers on "Going to Tehran" where we expounded with others on all the factors that should have improved US policy on Iran.
The blog title was also the title of a book written by two academics (who also ran the blog) who hoped things would change, and gave the reasons why it should.
Here's the Amazon blurb on "Going to Tehran" by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, 2013:

Less than a decade after Washington endorsed a fraudulent case for invading Iraq, similarly misinformed and politically motivated claims are pushing America toward war with Iran. Challenging the daily clamor of American saber rattling, Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett argue that America should renounce thirty years of failed politics, diplomacy and strategy and engage with Iran―just as Nixon revolutionized U.S. foreign policy by going to Beijing and realigning relations with China.

In Going to Tehran, former analysts in both the Bush and Clinton administrations, the Leveretts offer a uniquely informed account of Iran as it actually is today, not as many have caricatured it or wished it to be. They show that Iran's political order is not on the verge of collapse, that most Iranians still support the Islamic Republic, and that Iran's regional influence makes it critical to progress in the Middle East. Drawing on years of research and access to high-level officials, the Leveretts' indispensable work makes it clear that America must "go to Tehran" if it is to avert strategic catastrophe.. . .here


The hope, the expectation, back then that Barack 'hope & change' Obama would see the light and change things for the better. Hah. The 'strategic catastrophe' has not been avoided.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 4:28 utc | 54

The USA is still fresh from the humiliating withdrawal of Afghanistan.it is certainly not the time for another humiliation in admitting that withdrawing from the Jcpoa was a mistake.
It is taking a maximalist attitude to try to recover some dignity. Iran knows that the USA is not ready for a plain return to the Jcpoa. So these talks are just hot air while Israel restart its theatrical demonstration that Iran nuclear bomb is imminent.. no one believes that Iran will get the bomb and use it. What the usa and its gulf allies fear is the Iranian influence in the region that would give strength to Palestinian against israel and Yemenite against Saudi Arabia and hamper all the ambitious economical plans of Israel and the rich gulf countries.
Iran will keep pressuring Saudi Arabia about yemen and Israel about the Palestinians whether the Jcpoa is reinstated or not.
With the active support Iran is getting from china and Russia, the usa can't count on sanctions anymore and are watching with distress the growth of China and Russia in a region where they had the monopoly. The irony is that Israel is welcoming China as a business partner and are not opposed to Russia.
The USA finds itself in a very awkward situation whereby applying sanctions on Iran is bringing china and Russia deep in the equation. Accepting Iran's demands will make it lose its credibility for the gulf countries.
A tough dilemma , this is why the usa is procrastinating while accusing Iran of procrastinating!
Some violent event must happen for the course to change.

Posted by: Virgile | Dec 4 2021 4:42 utc | 55

Simplicious @ 48, Chu Teh @ 52:

That's embarrassing news for NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. He obviously doesn't spend enough time horse-whipping his fellow Norwegians into kowtowing to NATO wisdom and superiority. Maybe when he retires he should think about living in a country like Estonia or Lithuania that knows its place in NATO: as a barracks.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 4 2021 5:53 utc | 56


Some in the Iranian conservative camp believe that Zarif's vanity was used against him and, by extension, against Iran. Rouhani even went as far as saying Iran did not really need missiles with a range of more than 300 KM.

Both Zarif & Rouhani talk well and definitely enjoy talking. Zarif was fooled/conned because removing Iran Sanction Act (ISA) was never discussed in JCPOA. This act prohibits foreign investment in Iran. JCPOA was doomed to fail from the very outset. It was all a media blitz to stall Iran's development.

rouhani's campaign video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYytErqGdC4

Posted by: nme | Dec 4 2021 6:27 utc | 57

Excellent article b. The US is making the same mistake with Iran that that it made with China. It believes that it is negotiating from a position of strength. This is what happens when you are drunk on hubris. IMO the absurdity and humiliations will continue for the Empire of Chaos. It will eventually be in full retreat from the ME. Just as you predicted b. Thanks for your analysis.

Posted by: Michael Crockett | Dec 4 2021 7:03 utc | 58

Absent from this entire discussion is the fact that Saudi Arabias nuclear weapons program is in full swing and aided by China.

How come nobody seems to factor that in these days?

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 4 2021 7:03 utc | 59

I don't think Iran producing and testing a nuclear device is a realistic scenario. That is one of the very few things that would make China and Russia agree to economic sanctions (see North Korea).

In my opinion the Iranian psycho games (the absurdly long "assessment" period and the maximalist opening proposal) serve to camouflage the fact that the Iranian negotiation position has become very weak. Economic sanctions don't cost the USA much and can be left in place infinitely (see North Korea, Cuba etc.). With Iran having become a nuclear threshold state anyway and with all non-nuclear issues having been declared off limits by Khameini there is just nothing left for the Iranian team to put on the negotiation table at Vienna.

Posted by: m | Dec 4 2021 7:15 utc | 60

Let's be real, given the demonstrated behavior of the empire, either nobody should have nuke (which is never gonna happen) or everybody with a functioning government should have them on a second strike declaration.

Sadly its the only thing that can ensure sovereignty.

Everyone else are just vassals (or will be), and everything else is just hot air.

Posted by: A.L. | Dec 4 2021 7:29 utc | 61

Posted by: m | Dec 4 2021 7:15 utc | 60

In my opinion the Iranian psycho games (the absurdly long "assessment" period and the maximalist opening proposal) serve to camouflage the fact that the Iranian negotiation position has become very weak. Economic sanctions don't cost the USA much and can be left in place infinitely (see North Korea, Cuba etc.).

You are at odds with reality.

On the contrary, Iran has demonstrated that it can engage indefinitely in negotiations without conceding anything.

That is a clear indication of a *strengthened* negotiating position.

As for sanctions, even a five year old can see they have had marginal effect on the long term strategic position of Iran... How could you miss this?

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 4 2021 7:42 utc | 62

Don Bacon @ 54: re the book Going To Tehran

It occurred to me that the title of the book (and maybe the blog?) might be an ironic play on a possibly apocryphal quote ascribed to a British defence official in the run up to the Iraq War of 2003: "Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran."

https://www.newsweek.com/periscope-144087

Posted by: thermobarbaric | Dec 4 2021 7:46 utc | 63

Read a news item that NORWAY has requested Nato keep its troops away from the Russian border in Norway. Anyone from Norge heard something to that effect?? If so, a huge tell...
Posted by: Simplicious | Dec 4 2021 2:33 utc | 48

Not a huge tell. Our foreign minister made a statement to that effect but it’s no more than a whine. US/NATO will continue the creepy creep. We buy US jets when told to. We let US build facilities on our bases so we can still say they are our bases. We modify our ports to accomodate them. We don’t allow foreign troops to be permanently stationed here so we call them temps. On and on. It’s not necessarily what we want but it’s the reality of the power disparity.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Dec 4 2021 7:53 utc | 64

@karlof1 | Dec 3 2021 18:40 utc | 6

Furthermore, there remains the issue of Iran's avenging Soleimani's assassination which has yet to be completed.

Yes, that is one of the elephants in the room that was missing from the analysis. That was a cowardly performed act of war. I hope the consequence will be that the US occupation of the ME will be recognized as inviable.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 4 2021 8:09 utc | 65

@Simplicious | Dec 4 2021 2:33 utc | 48

Read a news item that NORWAY has requested Nato keep its troops away from the Russian border in Norway. Anyone from Norge heard something to that effect?? If so, a huge tell...

I heard about it from Sputnik News, even if my visit there is becoming rare. I stay away from Norwegian MSM, it is too painful. But Sputnik's point about the supposed change in policy from the new Norwegian 'Labour' party government after a decade of 'conservative' government should be taken with a bucket of salt. The Norwegian Labour party is after all the party of Jens Stoltenberg (he was PM during the attacks 22. July 2011) and his father, former foreign minister Thorvald Stoltenberg who oversaw the NATO destruction of Yugoslavia.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 4 2021 9:03 utc | 66

Posted by b on December 3, 2021 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink -- "The U.S. may not like such a deal but it is the only one it can have."

Iran has all the winning cards. They have been under sanctions seige for the longest time, and now have an out through Russia and China. Militarily, they have Israel and the US in checkmate. So, they use the negotiations as warfare by other means.

If the US agrees to their position, then they would have humiliated the US for walking away from an agreement only to return to the exact same agreement later on.

If the US does not, then the Iranians would have shown the world once again that the US is not agreement-capable, ie, dishonourable, ie, despicable.

The US cannot accept either of those outcomes, and so engage in endless name-calling, endlessly moving the goal posts.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Dec 4 2021 9:04 utc | 67

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Dec 4 2021 7:42 utc | 62 -- "On the contrary, Iran has demonstrated that it can engage indefinitely in negotiations without conceding anything. That is a clear indication of a *strengthened* negotiating position."

What we are seeing is how the US is backed up against the wall by Iran, ripe and ready to be slapped if they agree to reinstate the deal. And to be slapped even more for not agreeing to a deal. All that for a deal that Iran does not need any more.

Iran's head of the navy spoke recently about how they slapped the US six times already -- with no US retaliation -- the latest being that helicopter rapelling recapture of a ship full of Iranian oil that the US tried to steal.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Dec 4 2021 9:16 utc | 68

@Jen | Dec 4 2021 5:53 utc | 56

That's embarrassing news for NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. He obviously doesn't spend enough time horse-whipping his fellow Norwegians into kowtowing to NATO wisdom and superiority. Maybe when he retires he should think about living in a country like Estonia or Lithuania that knows its place in NATO: as a barracks.

A few days ago, before the psychopaths got their will once again and I was locked out from work, I heard gossip that after he retires as chief NATO puppet he supposedly is ready to head Norges Bank (Norway's central bank). It's all total gossip and possibly complete nonsense, but that's what I heard someone say. Make of it what you will. Obviously he is an economic genius, ready to continue warfare via central banking.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 4 2021 9:18 utc | 69

b,

A correction for the text of the article:

but never to the extend
but never to the extent

A suggestion of improvement for the text:

campaign now president
campaign current president

I know English is not your native language and appreciate your articles. I offer the correction and suggestion out of thanks.

As for the new gas fields in the Caspian, Pepe Escobar has an article on it:

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/russia-is-primed-for-a-persian-gulf-security-makeover/

For the current shitty state of negotiations, Richard Medhurst interviews Professor Mirandi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu9e8KOPOwk

(There seems to have been some difficulty in the audio recording, but it stabilises.)

Posted by: YesXorNo | Dec 4 2021 10:02 utc | 70

Posted by: m | Dec 4 2021 7:15 utc | 60

Being a US euro puppet fried your brain. Iran already broke the illegal embargo by your master and is to reach pre-sanctions level oil exports by March. It joined SCO and is expanding relations with neighboring countries and with Asia. Sanctions of a declining entity matter less and less, as the rest of the world moves in for opportunities.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/inevitable-recovery-iran-oil-industry-190000848.html

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/irans-petrochemical-fuel-sales-boom-sanctions-hit-crude-exports-2021-09-17/

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=50276

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/11/15/670650/Iran-oil-exports-sanctions-gas

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 4 2021 12:06 utc | 71

RE: Posted by b on December 3, 2021 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink

“Nuclear Talks - Western Negotiators Fail To Recognize Iran's Position”

As Mr. Shakespeare observed - “All the world is a stage....” ( upon which some think they are Directors), forgetting that in the vicinity of striptease the spectators watch the stripper, whilst practitioners analyse the audience.

As Mr. Gogol observed - Don't hold too tightly onto flying troikas - (its not good for the soles).

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 4 2021 12:13 utc | 72

"The US is not politically capable of agreeing to Iran's terms, reasonable though they are. There will be no deal, just an attempt to string things along for as long as possible."

Posted by: the pessimist | Dec 3 2021 18:28 utc | 1

As per the pessimist excellent observation.
Can anyone please name a treaty that the US actually stuck to and honored.?
From the treaties with the Indians to now I'm pretty stumped to name a real one.

Posted by: JPC | Dec 4 2021 12:21 utc | 73

Chinese assistance to Iran could become linked to Taiwan. The former chief of Mossad is especially concerned about this (what I'm guessing from his comments even though he doesn't mention Iran or Taiwan). It hardly takes a grand strategist to understand US support for Taiwan is responded to with Chinese support for Iran. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/ex-mossad-chief-says-he-doesn-t-understand-u-s-antagonism-toward-china-1.9885569

Ex-Mossad Chief 'Doesn't Understand' U.S. Antagonism Toward China
'China isn’t against us and is not our enemy,' recently retired Yossi Cohen says, questioning an American push for an investigation into China’s possible role in the spread of the coronavirus

Posted by: battlegrey | Dec 4 2021 13:00 utc | 74

The spectacle of the West's fumble around the world would be fun to watch if there is no fear that willy nilly they, western powers, might create a disaster of global proportion.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 4 2021 13:02 utc | 75

Nice recap b.
This is another episode in the theater of the absurd, for the absurd.
Nuclear issue, is an issue that is used to keep Iran backwards, and to keep it in a corner (as if that were possible). With its normal ballistics and their range of 2000 KM, drones, proxies, and allies, and a capable armed forces, Iran has a security umbrella, and no need for nukes.

The day of keeping Iran in a corner has passed. Iran is now master of it’s own destiny, and not under the yoke of the empire. It’s economy is detached from the West, and will not be harmed by the ups and downs of the Wall st.

I believe there will be an agreement of sorts — that everyone needs — soon. Otherwise the empire will have to execute the non-existent-plan-B.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Dec 4 2021 14:02 utc | 76

@ Norwegian 69
re: I heard gossip that after [Stoltenberg] retires as chief NATO puppet he supposedly is ready to head Norges Bank

Wasn't there a similar deal when Obama garnered his Nobel Peace Prize nine months into his presidency while he was sending 70,000 more troops to Afghanistan? The head guy in Oslo sucked up and did the deal, and then got a plushy position and a mansion in western Europe, as I recall.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 14:15 utc | 77

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 4 2021 12:13 utc | 72
As Mr. Gogol observed - Don't hold too tightly onto flying troikas - (its not good for the soles).
Are you Madame: Korobochka, or were married to Nozdryov, of Мёртвые души fame!

Posted by: Grishka | Dec 4 2021 14:19 utc | 78

As a backdrop, China, India and Russia are promoting a multipolar world with all nations enjoying sovereignty as the UN Charter prescribes, while junking the "rules-based international order" (i.e. with US "rules') that the US is fond of.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 14:19 utc | 79

@Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 14:15 utc | 77

Wasn't there a similar deal when Obama garnered his Nobel Peace Prize nine months into his presidency while he was sending 70,000 more troops to Afghanistan? The head guy in Oslo sucked up and did the deal, and then got a plushy position and a mansion in western Europe, as I recall.

The Nobel Peace Price committee is 100% politicized and consists of third rate members of parliament. At the time the committee was headed by Thorbjørn Jagland, a totally discredited former PM coming from the same party as Stoltenberg.

The thing is that the deadline for nominating candidates to the Nobel Peace Prize expires by the end of January the year the prize is awarded, and as you know a US president is inaugurated January 20th. So Obama had exactly 10 days to do the good deeds that gave him the Nobel Peace Prize, and someone really had to hurry up and nominate him.

The whole thing was so farcical that even Obama was visibly embarrassed in December and his plane took off ASAP.

Jagland was parked as Secretary General of the Council of Europe where he did nothing useful.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 4 2021 14:57 utc | 80

can someone explain France's rigid position in this deal? I don't understand what they want. or think they can get.

Posted by: mastameta | Dec 3 2021 21:13 utc | 25

France (French elite) needs to reconcile the concept of France being a great power etc., like in the time of King Sun, and the reality of being an obedient vassal of USA. Hence pirouettes in foreign policy, at times more realistic that American, at times, more doctrinaire, and during previous negotiations with Iran France was pirouetting like now. My speculation.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 4 2021 15:43 utc | 81

Don Bacon @ 54, thermobarbaric @ 63
"Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran."

It was worse. The goingtotehran site used to be called raceforiran. I enjoyed barbing our inveterate ‘war on Iran’ troll — RSH — there.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Dec 4 2021 15:47 utc | 82

Oh, and to add to my @82, before b was uber barkeep b, with 50+ million refreshes on MoA, he used to come out there and play. Remember b?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Dec 4 2021 15:55 utc | 83

@69 How did Norway get sucked into NATO in the first place? Sweden and Finland actually live next door to the evil monster and they don't feel the need to join.

Posted by: dh | Dec 4 2021 16:01 utc | 84

RE: Posted by: Grishka | Dec 4 2021 14:19 utc | 78

“Are you Madame: Korobochka, or were married to Nozdryov, of Мёртвые души fame! “

Some older ladies become incontinent, some older ladies become forgetful, whilst some older ladies remember Pioneers and Parties.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Dec 4 2021 16:04 utc | 85

. . .from The Statute of the IAEA
ARTICLE I: Establishment of the Agency
The Parties hereto establish an International Atomic Energy Agency (hereinafter referred to as "the Agency") upon the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth.
ARTICLE II: Objectives
The Agency shall seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world. It shall ensure, so far as it is able, that assistance provided by it or at its request or under its supervision or control is not used in such a way as to further any military purpose. . . .
ARTICLE XII: Agency safeguards
. . .The inspectors shall report any non-compliance to the Director General who shall thereupon transmit the report to the Board of Governors. The Board shall call upon the recipient State or States to remedy forthwith any non-compliance which it finds to have occurred. The Board shall report the non-compliance to all members and to the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations. In the event of failure of the recipient State or States to take fully corrective action within a reasonable time, the Board may take one or both of the following measures: direct curtailment or suspension of assistance . . .
ARTICLE XVII: Settlement of disputes
A. Any question or dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this Statute which is not settled by negotiation shall be referred to the International Court of Justice in conformity with the Statute of the Court, unless the parties concerned agree on another mode of settlement.
B. The General Conference and the Board of Governors are separately empowered, subject to authorization from the General Assembly of the United Nations, to request the International Court of Justice to give an advisory opinion on any legal question arising within the scope of the Agency's activities . . .here

The IAEA is not a UN agency. The Statute has no provisions for punishment, only to report to the UN. Disputes are to be referred to the International Court of Justice.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 16:41 utc | 86

Posted by: m | Dec 4 2021 7:15 utc | 60

Strategically speaking Iran don’t need to make or deploy nukes, Nukes have no strategic benefit for Iran and it actually will reduce Iran’s influence in her region. Iran is a large land mass not easy to invade or destroy. Iran needs to be a threshold nuclear state which she is for over 10 years. In enrichment technology Iran is amongst a few nations in the world with advance enrichment technology, that can not be setback as was demonstrated since trump sanctions. Is not a coincidence that Iran can increase enrichment to 60% in just a few months and US/Israel didn’t, couldn’t do jack shit about it. The message of 60% was to show we are a threshold state and as such you need to acknowledge that. The message is if we are attacked we can retaliate in same kind. As Don remembered all this were discussed on GTT many years back. Not only much has changed but obviously Iran is in much more stronger position technologically and militarily then when we were discussing the issues. As said any agreement without curbing Iran’s regional influence and Iran’s means to protect Iran’s influence (missile, drone, early warning tech) will be useless to US, Israel and their European and Arab satrapies and for one reason or another they will brake in future.
Iran very well knows this, but is willing to play the game as long as she is able to keep her Damocles swords ( Enrichment Tech, Missile , support for her allies). Frankly IMO I don’t see any problem with that, Iran playing the western game to expose the west with their own shortcomings and double standards, IMO the long term strategic cost on US/ Israel,EU is much higher than the financial cost Iran is suffering in short term.

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 4 2021 16:43 utc | 87

@dh | Dec 4 2021 16:01 utc | 84

@69 How did Norway get sucked into NATO in the first place?

Well, Norway was in from the beginning (in 1949?). Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany, Sweden was not.

Posted by: Norwegian | Dec 4 2021 16:45 utc | 88

@88 Thanks. Same as Czechoslovakia I guess. Stoltenberg does seem to be excessively gung-ho though for some reason.

I thought Finland was actually allied with Hitler at some point against Russia.

Posted by: dh | Dec 4 2021 16:54 utc | 89

CNN has a personal story today on a situation that the US says is not a part of current negotiations.
"For this American family, the Iran nuclear talks are personal". . .Emad Shargi's daughter says her dad has always been stoic during his ordeal as an American citizen unjustly held in an Iranian prison. But recently, she heard something different. . .The Biden administration has been adamant that Emad Shargi's case, along with those of others being held by Tehran, be kept separate from negotiations meant to bring both the US and Iran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. That pact gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. .. .here

The CNN story didn't mention: There are at least 13 Iranians in U.S. detention or under U.S. court-ordered restrictions on movement. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 4 2021 17:32 utc | 90

Norwegian @ 69:

Stoltenberg becoming head of Norway's central bank, post-NATO, sounds plausible. NATO needs a point-man to find a way of plundering your country's Sovereign Wealth Fund to help fund a future war against Russia.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 4 2021 19:32 utc | 91

@dh | Dec 4 2021 16:01 utc | 84
@69 How did Norway get sucked into NATO in the first place?

Norwegian | Dec 4 2021 16:45 utc | 88
Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany, Sweden was not.

That’s the short answer and all that really needs to be said.
But there is some background if you have a minute.

In the late 15th century Sweden, Denmark and Norway formed a union. Sweden declared independence some 30 years later leaving an economically weak Norway under the thumb of Denmark. In the Napoleonic wars Denmark/Norway backed the losing French side. A very brief Norwegian independence movement followed but very soon Sweden invaded and as a result Norway fell under the control of Sweden in 1814. Although we were allowed to keep our own constitution, Sweden was the dominant partner.

The union with Sweden was finally broken in 1905 after a very real threat of war. At that time a position of neutrality emerged and in WWI we remained neutral. In the 1930s the politicians favoring neutrality were in control of policy. The power of our military was reduced including the dismissal of many of the older experienced officers. Following WWII this was of course cited as a reason to reject neutrality.

After the experience of the Nazi occupation we looked to the United Nations for alliances. But as the Cold War developed and the USSR became Enemy #1, there was concern for our security. We had become an ally of Great Britain soon after the Nazi occupation began in 1940 and it was obvious that neutrality was no guarantee of independence. Economically we were quite weak and siding with NATO won the day over the neutrality camp, but not without a lot of debate.

There is considerable opposition to NATO here, especially since the breakup of the USSR, but we are bound economically to the west. The appointment of Stoltenberg was absolutely engineered to keep us bound even closer. It seems unlikely that we can break free anytime prior to the final collapse of the ‘Outlaw US Empire’.

Finland shares a border with Russia, unlike Sweden, and during the Cold War they had to walk a tightrope and it was probably a bridge too far for them to join NATO. Sweden, being strong economically, was able to continue its policy of neutrality. Now though, while they are not official members, they are in ever increasing partnership with NATO. It would not be a surprise to see a Swede become the next NATO Sec-General.

Posted by: waynorinorway | Dec 4 2021 19:32 utc | 92

JPC @73:

As far as I know USA has yet to dishonor any of the following treaties/agreements:

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/formal-agreements-between-us-and-israel#:~:text=Economy%20%20%20DATE%20%20%20AGREEMENT%20,economic%20a%20...%20%2020%20more%20rows%20

But, also as far I know, these are the only treaties/agreements that the USA has bothered to faithfully honor.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 4 2021 19:37 utc | 93

battlegrey @74:

Chinese support for Iran could be potentially a game changer in the Middle East geopolitics. American support for Taiwan is nothing more than a propaganda nuisance. These two game plots are not on the same level. If USA/Israel think that lending Taiwan independence support is the leverage to extricate Chinese support for Iran on security and economic matters, their strategic mindset is shallower than a teacup saucer.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 4 2021 19:45 utc | 94

kiwiklown #68

What we are seeing is how the US is backed up against the wall by Iran, ripe and ready to be slapped if they agree to reinstate the deal. And to be slapped even more for not agreeing to a deal. All that for a deal that Iran does not need any more.

Thank you for that remark as I see it in a similar vein. IMO Iran went along with the O'bummer line as it gave them some respite and was a usefull counter the Israeli accusations prattle. Israel needs enemies to maintain its domestic control and legitimacy of government. Israel has one goal here:- for the international audience to equate Iran with nuclear weapons. Even when they have none and have expressly condemned such weapons as evil. Israel has many and is hell bent on never letting any force supervise their 'precious'.

So the USA was a useful idiot to be pushed up against the Israeli wailing wall for a good slapping by Iran. Trump thought he could escape that fate via Kushners manipulations and one good slap back with his murder of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. That is when the USA should have rejoined the talks and crashed the entire JCPOA babble but Trump was hamstrung by his ego, petulant nature, Israeli hubris and overplayed hand.

Iran has continued its rapid development of missile technology for civil and equally military means. Israel detests this Iranian capacity as it leads to Iran talking from a position of strength and its gradual accretion of more allies (or reduced antagonists) among the Arab states. The demands for a nuclear free middle east should be loudly and persistently called as this will set the context to identify the villians.

Iran has no need to stay with JCPOA and need to desert it. Slap on I say.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 4 2021 21:59 utc | 95

When Trotsky was on the run from Stalin's and Hitler's secret agents in the 1930s he found respite in Norway for a while. So there's that side of Norway, but then there's a fascist streak that saw a significant number of Norwegians fight for Hitler on the eastern front. Other than that about all I know of Norway is what I've read in the novels of Joe Nesbo and Per Pettersen, who are a couple of fine writers.

Posted by: Chas | Dec 4 2021 22:29 utc | 96

Sakineh Bagoom #83

Oh, and to add to my @82, before b was uber barkeep b, with 50+ million refreshes on MoA, he used to come out there and play. Remember b?

Thank you for that quirky vignette.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 4 2021 22:32 utc | 97

If USA/Israel think that lending Taiwan independence support is the leverage to extricate Chinese support for Iran on security and economic matters, their strategic mindset is shallower than a teacup saucer.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 4 2021 19:45 utc | 94

Neither that antagonizing Russia for Israel. This is the divergence with US and Israel foreign policy where Israel only interested to maintain and expand their little colonies unopposed in middle east and where USA see the emerging two superpowers is challenging it's existence as global sole hegemon. Israel take the US permanent supports as naturally given while they see China and Russia as another partner they can buy/win over the other 'non democratic' country in middle east or northern Africa.
Probably believing that they can sell their position where their colonies to annex and manage entire middle Eastern resources for their other partners and believing the other two would invest to their projects forgetting the part that they only matter because USA.

Posted by: Lucci | Dec 6 2021 7:13 utc | 98

If China and Russia are able to pull Iran's petrochemical chestnuts out of the fire -- and it seems that they will -- then things will look very bad for U.S. diplomacy. Obviously there will continue to be U.S. satellites and puppet states who continue to cheer the wonders of U.S. global wisdom, and obviously that will include the official propaganda organs which we are obliged to read. But who outside the U.S. empire would want to join it after that? And who inside the U.S. empire would feel secure?

Posted by: MFB | Dec 6 2021 7:42 utc | 99

Chinese support for Iran could be potentially a game changer in the Middle East geopolitics. American support for Taiwan is nothing more than a propaganda nuisance. These two game plots are not on the same level. If USA/Israel think that lending Taiwan independence support is the leverage to extricate Chinese support for Iran on security and economic matters, their strategic mindset is shallower than a teacup saucer.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 4 2021 19:45 utc | 94

Thank you your comment.

My interpretation has been that they have been trying one thing after another since they got stuffed in Lebanon in 2006. That was after it was already clear Iraq was failed, too. Georgia, Syria, Ukraine, and each time Putin just stuffed them and let it stew. And a number of even more desperate attempts at trouble-making like in Belarus, all of which have made trouble for them, mostly. They don't learn.

Posted by: Bemildred | Dec 6 2021 14:29 utc | 100

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