International Forecaster Weekly

No Deal in Geneva For Iran and the West

Don't expect future rhetoric to change. Don't expect future talks faring better than others. Don't expect longstanding US/Israeli anti-Iranian hostility to soften.

Stephen Lendman | November 13, 2013

Three days of Iran nuclear talks were fruitless. It didn't surprise. Multiple previous rounds failed. Will future ones fare better? Don't bet on it. 

France was blamed this time. Washington bears most responsibility. So does Israel. Netanyahu called any deal a bad one. The Israeli Lobby exerts enormous pressure on Congress.

America negotiates in bad faith. Longstanding anti-Iranian hostility persists. Regime change plans remain firm.

Iran's nuclear program is a red herring. It's entirely legitimate. Western countries and Israel know it. Pretending otherwise doesn't wash. Nor does putting a brave face on failure.

Agreement was only reached to meet again. November 20 is scheduled. Senior diplomats will attend. Foreign ministers won't participate.

Public comments belie what's at issue. Washington wants Iran kept isolated. It wants pressure maintained. 

It wants stiff sanctions continued. It wants Iran's economy to scream. It wants ordinary Iranians suffering most.

It wants regime change. It wants pro-Western puppet governance replacing sovereign Iranian independence. 

Tehran negotiated in good faith. Washington, Britain, France and Germany didn't reciprocate. It didn't surprise.

It wants war if other methods fail to achieve its goals. It wants an Israeli rival eliminated. It wants unchallenged regional dominance. It wants control of Iranian oil, gas and other resources. 

Future talks won't change things. John Kerry lied saying:

"(W)e came to Geneva with the clear purpose of trying to advance the goal of preventing Iran from securing a nuclear weapon, and I believe we leave this round of talks not only committed, recommitted to that goal, but clearly further down the road in understanding what the remaining challenges are and clarifying the ways that we can actually do certain things together to reach that goal."

"(T)he window for diplomacy does not stay open indefinitely," he added.

US/Israeli nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction represent the greatest threat to world peace.

Kerry lied about the importance of "defus(ing)" nonexistent Iranian ones.

Don't expect future rhetoric to change. Don't expect future talks faring better than others. Don't expect longstanding US/Israeli anti-Iranian hostility to soften.

On Sunday, President Rohani addressed Iran's National Assembly, saying:

"We have said to the negotiating sides that we will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination." 

"The Islamic Republic has not and will not bow its head to threats from any authority." 

"For us there are red lines that cannot be crossed. National interests are our red lines that include our rights under the framework of international regulations and (uranium) enrichment in Iran."

Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful, he stressed. Its rights are inviolable. They won't be surrendered. 

Tehran negotiated in good faith. Washington, Britain, France and Germany didn't reciprocate. It didn't surprise. 

Brave face pretense doesn't change things. Alleged progress belies reality. 

It bears repeating. At issue is sovereign Iranian independence. Alleging a possible military component to its nuclear program is pretext to target it.

In 1957, Washington and Iran signed an Atoms for Peace nuclear cooperation agreement. In August 1963, Tehran signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In December, it ratified it.

In 1967, Iran built its Nuclear Research Center. The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran ((AEOI) runs it.

The same year, Washington supplied 5.545 kg of enriched uranium. Most of it contained fissile isotopes for research reactor fuel. 

About 112 grams of plutonium (mostly fissile isotopes) were provided for the same purpose.

In July 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). On March 5, 1970, it became effective. It promotes peaceful nuclear energy uses. 

It opposes weaponization. It endorses complete nuclear disarmament. Its objective is freeing the world from these destructive weapons.

In the 1970s, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi proposed building around 20 nuclear reactors. Washington supported him. Contracts with Western companies were signed. 

In 1974, Iran's Atomic Energy Act was implemented. It coordinates Tehran's nuclear program. It supervises it. 

It's involved in building nuclear facilities. It's in charge of using nuclear energy in industry, agriculture and service industries. It includes creating the required scientific and technical infrastructure. 

In 1974, Bushehr nuclear facility construction began. German companies were involved. Work stopped after Iran's 1979 revolution. 

In 1995, Russia agreed to finish earlier work begun. In September 2011, Bushehr became operational.

In 1990, Beijing signed a 10 year nuclear cooperation agreement with Tehran. It lets Iranian nuclear engineers train in China.

In December 2002, Washington claimed Iran planned nuclear weapons development. 

In May 2003, Iran proposed nuclear negotiations. At issue was resolving America's concerns. Agenda items proposed included:

  • relief of all US sanctions on Iran;
  • cooperation to stabilize Iraq;
  • full transparency over Iran's nuclear program, including the Additional Protocol;
  • cooperating against terrorist organizations, especially Mujahedin-e Khalq and Al Qaeda
  • accepting the Arab League’s 2002 'land for peace' declaration on Israel/Palestine; and
  • Iran's full access to peaceful nuclear technology, as well as legitimate chemical and bio-technology.

Bush administration officials rejected Iran's proposal. On January 29, 2002, George Bush initially called Iran, Iraq and North Korea the "axis of evil." 

He repeated it throughout his presidency. He did so to rally support for his "war on terror."

His accusations about proliferating terrorism were false. So were claims about developing weapons of mass destruction. 

Stepped up pressure followed. War on Iraq destroyed the cradle of civilization. War raged on Iran by other means. It continues.

It includes saber rattling, sanctions, subversion, instability, cyberwar, targeted assassinations, other disruptive actions, and relentless scoundrel media vilification and fearmongering.

In 2003, Britain, France and Germany (the EU3) proposed discussing a range of nuclear, security and economic issues with Iran.

Key was suspending uranium enrichment. So was cooperating fully with IAEA inspections. Iran continued its legitimate operations. Talks didn't materialize.

In November 2004, they began. Iranian proposals followed. They included:

  • Iran's commitment not to pursue weapons of mass destruction;
  • rejection of any attacks, threats of attack, or sabotage of Iran's nuclear facilities;
  • cooperation on combating terrorism; it included stepped up exchange of information and denial of safe havens;
  • regional security cooperation, including on Iraq and Afghanistan; and
  • cooperating on strategic trade controls, as well as ending restrictions on conventional arms and dual use goods to Iran.

In March 2005, Iran expressed willingness to discuss its nuclear program. Its proposal included:

  • adopting the IAEA Additional Protocol and continuous on-site inspections of key facilities;
  • limiting expansion of its enrichment program as well as declaring no reprocessing'
  • converting all enriched uranium to fuel rods;
  • an EU declaration recognizing Iran as a major source of European energy;
  • Iran's guaranteed access to advanced nuclear technology, as well as EU contracts for nuclear plant construction; and
  • normalizing Iran's status under G8 export controls.

In April 2005, Iran agreed to adopt the IAEA's Additional Protocol. It declared a policy of no reprocessing. It suspended enrichment for six months.

It established a joint task force on counterterrorism and export controls. It urged EU recognition of Iran as a major energy source.

In July 2005, Iran agreed to limit Natanz facility uranium enrichment. It negotiated for full-scale Natanz operation. 

It agreed to import uranium conversion material. It approved exporting UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) substances.

In August 2005, EU3 countries proposed:

  • supplying Iran with low enriched uranium;
  • storing nuclear fuel located in a third country;
  • establishing an Iranian commitment not to pursue fuel cycle technologies;
  • committing Iran to remain an NPT signatory and comply with Additional Protocol provisions;
  • returning spent nuclear fuel to supplier countries;
  • EU recognizing Iran as a longterm source of fossil fuel energy; and
  • cooperating with Iran on a variety of political-security areas; they included Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and drug trafficking.

Iran rejected EU3's proposal. It didn't recognize its legitimate enrichment rights. Negotiations ended.

In October 2005, Moscow proposed Iran share ownership of a Russian-based uranium enrichment facility. Discussions followed. In March 2006, Tehran rejected the proposal.

In June 2006, America, China and Russia joined with EU3 countries. Comprehensive negotiations with Iran were proposed. 

Terms included Iran suspending enriched related and reprocessing activities, establishing a mechanism review, cooperation on issues of mutual concern, among others.

In August, Iran rejected the proposal. It didn't recognize its legitimate uranium enrichment rights.

Germany got involved. P5 became P5+1. In March 2008, revised terms were proposed. Iran submitted its own.

Both sides called for political, economic and security cooperation. Iran excluded altering its legitimate nuclear program. Discussions followed. No agreement was reached.

Subsequent proposals by both sides followed. So did multiple negotiating rounds. Major issues remain unresolved. Western demands exclude fairness. 

They restrict Iran in ways imposed on no other nuclear country. They deny Tehran's legitimate rights.

Six Security Council resolutions deal with Iran's nuclear program. Five imposed sanctions. Congress and EU nations imposed their own.

Normalizing relations with Iran remains a convenient illusion. Washington and Israel block doing so. Further talks aren't likely to change things. What follows remains to be seen.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, senior US officials arrived in Israel. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman led them. 

She's duplicitous. She can't be trusted. She's militantly hostile to Iran. She lied to Congress about its legitimate nuclear program. 

She and other US officials briefed Netanyahu on Geneva talks. Israel's national security adviser was involved. So were Israeli intelligence, foreign affairs and defense officials.

Before talks concluded, Netanyahu spoke to Obama, Britain's David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande.

He urged them to reject what he called a bad deal. Draw your own conclusions. 

Note: On November 17, Hollande will meet with Netanyahu in Jerusalem. 

On November 20, Netanyahu plans visiting Moscow. It's the same day Iran nuclear talks resume. 

It bears repeating. Will they fare better than previous ones? Don't bet on it.