THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
October 16, 2013
The Guardian (UK)

Outline of Iran Nuclear Deal Emerges

Iran hints at a long-run settlement to the nuclear impasse. But can the six other states at the Geneva talks respond?

by Julian Borger

The first round talks on the Iranian nuclear programme involving the new Tehran government are heading towards a conclusion. After a morning of bilateral meetings and calls to capitals to check positions, the Iranian delegation went back into the chamber at Geneva's Palais des Nations with diplomats from six nations to resume discussion on Iran's plans for dealing with the decade-old nuclear deadlock.

At the end of the day, the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton (who acts as convenor for the six-nation group) are expected to issue a joint statement - itself a rare event at such meetings - and presumably announce plans for a follow-up session in a week or two.

The big question now is whether the six nations (US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China) are able to put together a coherent response to Iran's proposed road-map for navigating away out of the chronic, deepening nuclear crisis. . . .

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[Hatred of the Shia/Alawite Syrian regime, an unquenchable suspicion of Shia Iran's nuclear plans and a general fear of Shia expansion is turning the unelected Sunni Arab monarchies into proxy allies of the Israeli state--Robert Fisk, "How the Sunni-Shia schism is dividing the world," independent.co.uk, October 23, 2013]

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[Israel, which is believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal and regards its arch-enemy Iran as a mortal threat, has repeatedly mooted military action against Tehran if it does not mothball its entire nuclear program.--Louis Charbonneau and Yeganeh Torbati, "Iran nuclear deal unlikely as split emerges in Western camp: diplomats," reuters.com, November 9, 2013

[Israel has threatened to bomb the reactor before it starts operations, pointing out that once it is fuelled, bombing becomes impossible as it would scatter radioactive fallout around a large region. . . . some western officials accused France of sabotaging the hopes of a deal to curry favour with Israel and the Gulf Arab states.--Julian Borger and Saeed Kamali Dehghan, "Geneva talks end without deal on Iran's nuclear programme: Diplomats said to be furious after France objected to a stopgap deal being presented as a fait accompli," theguardian.com, November 9, 2013]

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[When the former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, broke the taboo last month, declaring Israeli possession of both nuclear and chemical weapons and describing the official non-disclosure policy as "outdated and childish" a rightwing group formally called for a police investigation for treason.

Meanwhile, western governments have played along with the policy of "opacity" by avoiding all mention of the issue. In 2009, when a veteran Washington reporter, Helen Thomas, asked Barack Obama in the first month of his presidency if he knew of any country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, he dodged the trapdoor by saying only that he did not wish to "speculate".--Julian Borger, "The truth about Israel's secret nuclear arsenal," theguardian.com, January 15, 2014]

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[The Washington narrative about Iran's alleged secret program to obtain nuclear weapons capability is among the single greatest lies ever propagated by the Warfare State.--David Stockman, "The 30-Year US/Iran Nuke Standoff: We Started It In The Reagan Days," davidstockmanscontracorner.com, March 26, 2014]

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