As predicted, the American-led sell-out of Israel and other anti-Iran Gulf allies has begun. A completely unnecessary “Peace in our Time” paper was about to be signed with Iran when, in the second time in as many months, France came to the rescue.
Two senior Iranian MPs accused French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Saturday of defending Israel, which objects to world powers reaching a deal with Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
Fabius said earlier in the day there was “no certainty” a deal could be reached and that Israel’s “concerns” need to be taken into consideration.
Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, spokesman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said “the behavior of the French representative in the nuclear talks shows that France is trying to blackmail” Iran.
Fabius told France Inter radio that “there is an initial draft that we do not accept…As we speak, I have no certainty that we can finish up.”
“There are some points on which we are not satisfied,” he said, citing the “extremely prolific” Arak nuclear reactor and the question of uranium enrichment. Fabius also expressed concerns over Iran’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium.
Moreover, Iran’s refusal to suspend work on a plutonium-producing reactor and downgrade its stockpile of higher-enriched uranium was standing in the way of an interim agreement, France’s foreign minister said Saturday.
A Western diplomat in Geneva for the talks told The Associated Press that the French were holding out for conditions on the Iranians tougher than those agreed to by the US and France’s other negotiating partners, raising doubts a final deal could be struck Saturday.
The time before was at the end of August when France alone stood up to Western lily-livered rejection of action against Syria’s chemical weapons. France announced it was ready to ally with America – and then America slapped France in the face (as Obama is wont to do with America’s allies) with their own sudden about-turn and rejection of any strike on Syria, leaving the field open for Russia to enter.
Watch the fatuous EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and the smarmy Iranian negotiator Mohammed Zarif in action (h/t Legal Insurrection):
Here are Netanyahu’s very outspoken and undiplomatic words about the American
capitulation deal: From the first link above:
“I met Secretary Kerry right before he [left] to Geneva. I reminded him that he said that no deal is better than a bad deal. And the deal that is being discussed in Geneva right now is a bad deal. Iran is not required to take apart even one centrifuge. But the international community is relieving sanctions on Iran for the first time after many years,” he said.
“Iran gets everything that it wanted at this stage and pays nothing. And this is when Iran is under severe pressure. I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal,” Netanyahu added. “But this is a bad deal, a very, very bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.”
From the second link above:
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday described a reported Western offer to Iran — of “limited” sanctions relief in response to an Iranian agreement to start scaling back nuclear activities — as a “historic mistake.”
Addressing Israeli and Diaspora leaders in Jerusalem as a new round of talks on Iran’s rogue nuclear program got under way in Geneva, Netanyahu said, the proposals “on the table in Geneva” would “ease the pressure on Iran in return for ‘concessions’ that aren’t concessions at all.” He said Israel completely oppose these proposals, which would leave Iran with a capacity to build nuclear weapons.
“I believe that adopting [these proposals] would be a mistake of historic proportions. They must be rejected outright,” he added.
Later, Netanyahu angrily called the offer being discussed in Geneva, the “deal of the century” for Iran.
“If the news that I am receiving of the impending proposal by the P5+1 is true, this is the deal of the century, for Iran. Because Iran is essentially giving nothing and it’s getting all the air taken out, the air begins to be taken out of the pressure cooker that it took years to build in the sanctions regime. What we’re having today is a situation that Iran is giving up, at best, a few days of enrichment time, but the whole international regime’s sanctions policy has the air taken out of it. That’s a big mistake, it will relieve all the pressure inside Iran, it is a historic mistake, a grievous historic error,” Netanyahu told a visiting delegation of members of the US Congress on Thursday.
Watch Netanyahu’s extreme concern in his undiplomatic message to Kerry:
It appears that besides the utter stupidity of loosening the sanctions on Iran at this precise moment so near to success, Israel is in shock at the duplicity of the Americans in how they presented their negotiating stance to Israel:
They added that Israel was stunned when it learned over the weekend that a version of the deal being proposed was far worse than it believed.
Israel received updates on the talks from the US on Wednesday, as well as from others, and believed that the deal taking shape would be limited to unfreezing $3b. of Iranian assets in Western bank accounts. Even at that stage, Israel objected to the plan, due to its assessment that the moment a crack in the door appears, and sanctions are eased, the door can then be torn down by international companies from countries such as China, Italy and Germany who are thirsty for business with Iran.
Once major international transactions begin, a dynamic will kick in that will lead to a collapse of sanctions, according to this evaluation.
But over the weekend, Israel learned that the deal on the table is far worse than the one presented to it on Wednesday, and included four clauses for the easing of sanctions rather than just one. Israeli officials said they became furious when the details of the actual deal reached them, describing it as an “enormous mistake.”
“[US Secretary of State John] Kerry left with food for thought after a tough conversation with [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu,” the political source said.
At the same time, he stressed, the US did not deceive Israel. Instead, the Americans “folded” between Wednesday and the weekend, “maybe because they very much want to reach an agreement and be done with this,” he added.
“The Iranians are the ones who came crawling to the negotiations, begging for an easing of sanctions, otherwise their regime will fall, and what’s incredible is that it seems that the Americans are more eager than them to reach an agreement,” the source charged.
The big question on everyone’s minds now is has Netanyahu left it too late for Israel to attack? In my post of last week I quoted from Prof. Uzi Rabi who thinks that it is too late, and David Horowitz in the Times of Israel thinks that Netanyahu is extremely agitated at this very thought.
Persistent reports have suggested that Netanyahu did want to intervene militarily in the past, most particularly in the summer of 2012, and that he was deterred by opposition from the United States and from Israel’s own security chiefs, past and present. Others close to him, however, insist that had Netanyahu truly believed that it was a case of now or never for a military strike, he would have ordered one. “If he had thought that military action was crucial at the time, he would have acted,” Tzachi Hanegbi, the Likud MK, and former minister for nuclear affairs, who is closer than most others in the party to the prime minister, told this writer just a few days ago.
Hanegbi added that Netanyahu “most likely decided not to [resort to force in the past] because there are great advantages to waiting until Israel comes as close as possible to the limits of its tolerance. Because when that point is reached, we can use all of the previous restraint as a very powerful tool for strengthening the legitimacy of our actions.”
For Netanyahu now, though, the question of whether he has waited too long. As he made crystal clear in that UN address, he is certain that “Iran is developing nuclear weapons” and he believes that ”when a radical regime with global ambitions gets awesome power, sooner or later its appetite for aggression knows no bounds.”
He vowed in that speech that Israel would “not allow” Tehran to get the bomb. But now the entire international community is publicly lined up in search of an accord with the ostensibly newly moderate Iran. If a deal — however “bad” and “dangerous” — is being done by diplomats led by the United States, can Israel seriously contemplate defying the world and taking on Iran militarily? To paraphrase those comments he made at his father’s funeral, the prime minister will be asking himself whether he proved incapable of identifying the danger and drawing the necessary conclusions in time.
Certainly the Iranians are feeling very confident, despite the temproary halt in negotiations. Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei tweeted “Our negotiators are not compromisers”.
And judging the by the video aired on Iranian TV of Iranian nuclear missiles destroying Israel, they are certainly confident of their ultimate aim – something the world has either forgotten or is in eager denial:
The scenario broadcast shows Israel threatening to bomb Iran, referring to a 2012 Israeli simulation of an air strike on Iranian nuclear sites. In the Iranian answer to the simulation, long-range missiles, set against a backdrop seeming to be partially taken from mapping website images of Israel, fly toward various Israeli landmarks, exploding on contact.
Targets include the nuclear site in Dimona, Tel Aviv’s Kirya military headquarters, as well as a bank on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport and the central Azrieli Mall.
How long will France – and Israel – be able to hold the line against American surrender and betrayal?