Iran Daily, March 24: Israel Tours Europe to Block Nuclear Deal

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PHOTO: Israel’s Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz

Trying to block a nuclear deal with Iran, Israel’s high-level officials held talks in Paris on Monday and are in London today.

Talks between Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) resume on Thursday, including a meetingt between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry, in Switzerland. The two sides seeking an agreement by an informal deadline of March 31.

France reportedly hindered a resolution last week in five days of discussions in Lausanne. Its delegation insisted that the deal on the table offered too many concessions to the Iranians, for example, over the lifting of US-led sanctions and the duration of the agreement. Paris told the media that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had called his negotiators to ensure that there were no further compromises.

Israel’s Intelligence Minister, Yuval Steinitz, said on Monday night that talks with the French national security adviser, Jacques Audibert, and France’s nuclear negotiating team were “serious and profound”.

Steinitz said, “We think it’s going to be a bad, insufficient deal,” so he and Israeli National National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen were “point[ing] to specific loopholes and difficulties”.

The Intelligence Minister specifically mentioned concern that Iran would be able to research and develop new generations of uranium centrifuges, even though the reported draft deal bars their operation.

The French Foreign Ministry said only that the meetings were “normal bilateral discussions”.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond also took a tough line on Monday, following talks with his Saudi Arabian counterpart in Riyadh, “It remains the case that Iran has to make significant further movement if we are going to be able to secure an agreement.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Feisal added that Iran should not be given “deals it does not deserve”.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder how much credit Israel (Bibi) still has with the Obama admin.

    New information has been released that Israel has been spying on diplomat communications between US/Iran as well as the US/ EU/ Iran talks to the level of listening in directly at the meetings and to make matters worse has distributed that information to US politicians trying to sabotage the deal.

  2. Scott,

    Have you seen this article yet: http://www.wsj.com/articles/israel-spied-on-iran-talks-1427164201

    ‘Israel Spied on Iran Nuclear Talks With U.S.’

    The most interesting part is not about the spying – this shouldn’t surprise anyone by now – but this part:

    The Israeli officials told lawmakers that Iran would also be permitted to deploy advanced IR-4 centrifuges that could process fuel on a larger scale, meeting participants and administration officials said.

    U.S. officials… said the briefings were misleading because Israeli officials didn’t disclose concessions asked of Iran. Those included… modifying the advanced centrifuges to slow output, these officials said.

    Until now, the general consensus has been that a deal would limit Iran to using only the IR-1 model centrifuge. Whereas Iran has been pushing for a deal that allows it to undertake R&D and deploy newer model centrifuges, including the already deployed IR-2 model, as well as the IR-3 and IR-4 models, which have been developed but not yet deployed.

    So if, according to the Israelis, a deal allows Iran to use IR-4 model centrifuges that are intentionally modified to slow output, then it would appear to be a significant compromise by both the U.S. and Iran.

    What do you think?

    • The real story here is neither the spying or the contents/ details of the deal, that’s just horseshit made in a form that’s digestible to the average public.

      What should make everyone go Hmmmm is that somehow its no longer the US that is thundering the beat of fear but Europe or I should say specially France and to a lesser extend UK.

      If there is one thing that is clear in politics it is that it is never about justice, truth, freedom, equality and all that other ‘nonsense’ we are told, its about what’s in it for me/us. The US lost out big on the Iran revolution and the UK managed to take the biggest slice of the Pie with other EU countries such as Germany not far behind (other EU countries only economically though and not politically), Recently China stepped in the vacuum of sanctions but China has always been a unreliable partner. The US is now taking back his Pie and apparently France is not getting a very big piece and is quite grumpy about it.

      Still the most interesting thing around the corner for Iran is not so much the Nuclear issue BUT the imminent death of Khamenei which will break open the gates of hell for most of the men in Power in IRI. These sorts of power vacuums (even though to a certain degree symbolic) always lead to cannibalism where different heads of the same beast start feeding on each other. Same happened just after the revolution as well as just before and after the death of Khomeini. Once you see some big heads roll or politically set aside that’s your cue that the old man is breathing his last bit of air and is on his way to meet the devil the gates of hell.

      It will be bloody, it will be ugly but it will shape the direction of the country in a way not comparable to the nuclear issue.

    • I don’t believe that Israel spied on the US. There are easier ways to get info from the talks.
      But Hmmmm.. would you know about these compromises and other details, if not Israel’s “spying”?

  3. The Intelligence Minister specifically mentioned concern that Iran would be able to research and develop new generations of uranium centrifuges, even though the reported draft deal bars their operation.

    You have seen the draft deal? What other source claims that R&D on centrifuges is prohibited?

    • Razmjoo,

      While the March 1 leak to Haaretz is unclear about non-operation of advanced models, well-placed sources have confirmed that this is in the draft agreement being agreed.

      S.

        • I don’t quite understand your issue here, as far as I parse the sentence you quoted, R&D should not be a problem. Or do you mean that “bars their operation” does not only refer to operation in a production environment but also for testing purposes?

          • It would appear to mean that Iran cannot inject gas into advanced centrifuges to test their separative work unit capacity. But I just don’t know, because I haven’t seen this draft document.

        • Razmjoo,

          The agreement could allow Iran to continue R&D on advanced centrifuges but bar their being put into operation to enrich uranium.

          S.

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