Monday, 6 April 2015

Iranian Nuclear Accord: Age Of Reverse Darwinism Has Begun!

For some of us this agreement was a godly act. But the majority who did read the official reports Obamas comment to "Khamenei, I am at your service!"
was at best a political freak occurrence and a diplomatical past PSP (Point Of Safe Return) 

Some days ago officials from the latest Iran nuclear Lausanne, Switzerland announced they had agreed on “key parameters” for the long-anticipated nuclear deal between the United States, its allies, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This took place just as the Obama administration’s Middle East policy is in complete meltdown, with Sunni and Iranian backed Shiite extremists murdering their way through Iraq, Syria, and Yemen and and whats worse they have basically gotten a free heaven in Turkey while its a US partner and NATO member. Why on earth is the world not not worried yet or anymore ?   Well fact is that the EU and the Obama administration isn’t.

As the US comments on the agreement contradict the Iranian version we must assume that this is this the worlds first manifesto of lies that will represent logic and  guideline for future generations.
Should we in the west or the Iranians accept this ? The Iranians seem not to care even if they live under censorship that any Iranian over the age of 6 knows uphold a strict code of silence about western opinion and exercises strict censorship. Maybe our western media is to blame as much as they have hyped this matter out of proportion without questioning the outcome enough....

The celebrative mood on the streets of Teheran now won't last as reality regarding freedom won't change one bit for the better after this ...

US has a single-minded focus best summed up by a senior State Department official: “The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what everyone agrees is the biggest threat to the region.”  “Game-changing” and “legacy-setting”?  As things hardly turn for the better, let’s examine the, damage and add questions.  Only a year ago, senior officials were on committing to “dismantle” “a lot” or “significant” portions of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. 
Did they ? No! 

The administration has mostly abandoned these commitments and is nearing a final deal that will permit Tehran to retain much of its known nuclear infrastructure, but keep it one year away from being able to produce a bomb’s worth of weapons-grade uranium known as a “breakout” period.  This writes the Foundation for Defence and Democracy.  We will lend the outlines of their thinking and blend it in with a  European or just plainly western view. 

To accomplish this, the Obama administration fact sheet (which is being seriously disputed by the Iranians) says that 
Iran will reduce its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium to less than a bomb’s worth. That’s a good thing writes the Foundation of Defence and Democracy while adding: A key detail, however, on how that reduction will occur is still missing.  In other words translated from academic gibberish: US and Iran are as disagreeing as before and sadly we at SDR see nothing good or worth home here but only the US taking a bald jump of faith so that Obama and Kerry can try togged the next Nobel price for Giving out nuclear power to one unstable nation that actively supports terrorists world wide like Hezbollah who see this agreement as a bending over by US (See further below)

An agreement sure but yet no answer on the vital question: Will Iran export the fuel to Russia, as was previously reported?  And if so making Vladimir Putin responsible for weapons-proofing Iranian uranium is a gift by Kerry and Obama who on the other hand try to tell us they have a embargo on Russia.

This embargo on Russia and concession “in blanco” give to Iran can hardly be called a legacy by any sane person. Russia has never wanted to attack any western nation or wished death upon Israel and US or EU.
This cant be anything else but, reverse Darwinism: Survival of the most idiotic.....

These are all words that have been sorted in Teheran and  Iran sponsors openly The Alewives in Syria and Hezbollah and have no human right - Women’s rights -Religious freedom - They practice openly torture by hanging that actually is nothing less  than slow choking to death in the air. This fact is never told in the news and should be as its openly seen with the cranes and pictures freely  available to the common man. Not only this but they are actively supporting wars by proxy rather openly. All this and more should make us question if the political persons giving this nation nuclear power are in their right mind. This would naturally not be the case if Iran would be even a “somewhat” free nation acknowledging the fact that they cant produce almost anything .
One question can confirm this: Name one Iranian produced product that's bought world wide like the millions of
products by miniature nations like Israel, Finland, or Italy, etc…

We still don’t know if:
- Iran convert it to some other uranium form, allowing Iran to increase its uranium stockpiles 
  for further enrichment at some future point to weapon-grade? 
The non negotiable:
- This is too small for peaceful civilian energy but the right size for producing weapon-grade uranium. 
   (Iran’s long-range, nuclear-warhead-capable, ballistic missile program, prohibited under Security Council
   resolutions, also quickly fell off the table when Iran declared them non-negotiable.)

At Fordow, a fuel-enrichment plant buried under a mountain, located on a Revolutionary Guard military base, 
the Obama administration is permitting Iran to operate almost 1,000 centrifuges that, even with prohibitions 
on using uranium today, could spin uranium tomorrow. 

Letts not forget its the same Iranian Revolutionary guards where also seen at the UK Embassy that was occupied by alleged students 2011.
Here seen: Karim Jalali" Head of the Revolutionary Guards IRGC  Qods brigade at the UK  Embassy!  
The same Revolutionary Guards will be taking care of nuclear matters at their Military base Fordow!

The administration previously committed to dismantling Fordow, then to shutter it, then to convert it to a research facility. 

Now, it is satisfied with limiting it to producing isotopes for scientific purposes.  Please pay attention to what the Obama administration and EU have been fooled by.  Namely the language in the fact sheet! Iran agreed that Fordow wouldn’t be used for “uranium enrichment.” Enrichment of other elements is permitted,  and Iran may be able to reconvert the centrifuges back for uranium enrichment purposes.

This is as mad as it can get and quite rightly again the Foundation For Defence of Democracy points out:
Did anyone mention that Fordow is said to be impregnable to Israeli military attacks, and perhaps Saudi Arabian  or American etc. This will put demands up for larger toys globally. Is this a good legacy for our children one must ask one self, isn't he world already in enough trouble as it is ?

The deal also will be of limited duration, with key constraints “sunsetting” in about a decade and the rest in  15 years, after which there will be no more limits on the production of nuclear fuel. 
In other words, this means that Iran could then operate hundreds of thousands of centrifuges and rapidly decrease the one-year breakout period. And naturally by  then, the hardline leaders of Tehran’s clerical-military establishment, if they are still in power, will be treated no differently than any other country under the  Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. 

That will put it in the same nuclear club as other threats to world peace, such as Japan, Germany, and
the Netherlands…just imagine seeing Iran’s name next to these. When that happens, even though Iran 
will be under some enhanced inspection requirements, Iran will be able to build a massive, industrially 
sized nuclear program, with easier-to-hide, advanced centrifuges, presenting weapons inspectors with 
enormous challenges even under a heightened monitoring regime.

Not to worry.  
If Tehran does engage in a “breakout” in these known facilities, a “sneak-out” in clandestine sites, or incrementally 
cheats through an “inch-out,” the administration promises to catch them, and come down on the
 Islamic Republic like a ton of bricks.

This is a big bet, relying on verification and inspections conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency 
(IAEA) and backed by Western intelligence. 

It also relies on so-called “snap-back” sanctions as a tool of coercive enforcement.

The problem: 
 Negotiators reportedly may allow Iran to sidestep the IAEA’s outstanding concerns about the possible military 
dimensions of its program until later in the deal, after certain sanctions are suspended.

Iran reportedly agreed to “regular access” for the IAEA to nuclear facilities but not necessarily to military and 
Revolutionary Guard facilities, this includes the Parchin military complex, where the IAEA suspects that 
weaponization activities took place.  

Without “go-anywhere, go-anytime” access to any Iranian site, the IAEA will be unable to establish a proper baseline.  Such a baseline would be critical in assessing whether or not Iran’s nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes. 

And Iran seems unlikely to fully address outstanding weaponization issues after sanctions begin unwinding when 
it hasn’t been willing to do so for years under the most severe economic sanctions.

Undercutting this further, in a recent op-ed, a former CIA director, former deputy director general of the IAEA,
and former Obama administration Iran expert questioned if the one-year breakout target provides sufficient time for 
the US government, the IAEA, and the UN, with Russia and China running cover for Iran, to detect, verify, agree upon, and respond to Iranian violations. 
The Obama administration has yet to explain how this one year can be sufficient time.

This one-year breakout goal also assumes that Iran doesn’t engage in “inch-out” prior to its dash to a bomb. Iran has a history of cheating incrementally, not egregiously. 

But no American president would bomb over incremental cheating. If the past is a prologue, Iran will exploit ambiguities and gaps in the agreement to creep its way to breakout or,  more likely, to sneak-out at a small, hard-to-detect, covert facility.

Another problem: 
In response to Iranian cheating, re-imposing sanctions is harder than it sounds. The snapback of sanctions, 
which the Russians reportedly now are resisting with respect to U.N. measures, is likely to involve significant disputes 
between the US, the European Union, and the Russians and Chinese. 

When sanctions were first implemented, it took years to have a meaningful impact on Iran’s economy and 
political decision-making. 

Once strictures are loosened, it will be difficult to put the sanctions back together again. 

Western economic leverage will be dramatically reduced, leaving military strikes as America’s only real option to stop an Iranian bomb. This is not a assumption but a fact. 

Once upon a time, the administration insisted that no deal was better than a bad deal. The parameters of the nuclear deal that have emerged look like we are headed toward a seriously flawed one. This will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear weapons state increasingly immune to economic pressure, further supercharge Iranian aggression in the region, fan the flames of sectarian warfare, and more than possibly even encourage Iran’s Sunni adversaries like Saudi Arabia forced to develop their own nuke capabilities. And why not the US did bend for one Gulf nation and just like India and Pakistan the won’t be able to stop Saudi Arabia Kuwait etc to demand the same as whats given to Iran.

This is Indeed, a “game-changing, legacy-setting” concluding that political trickery to be on page one has met its limits!

Hezbollah-Affiliated Daily:'The West Has Capitulated!'

Several hours after the joint statement by Iran and the world powers in Lausanne, Switzerland on the Iran nuclear 
deal framework, Ibrahim Al-Amin, the board chairman of the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, published 
an article in the daily titled "A New World: The West Has Capitulated!" 

In it, he wrote that in every conflict there is a winner and a loser, and that in this case it is the West, led by the U.S., 
that has been defeated. He said that what happened is a great achievement, for it is not just Western recognition of Iran's right to nuclear energy, but Western recognition that every nation is entitled to attain its rights, which will lead to greater rebellion against Western and American hegemony in the coming years. He concluded his article by saying that in his speech following the joint statement, President Obama implicitly acknowledged that the U.S. had had no other choice, and that Iran's enemies heard Obama saying, 'I am at your service, Khamenei."

The following are excerpts from the article:[1]  

"Winners and losers, that has been the essence of conflicts in the world since time immemorial. 
Only those who go through life with their eyes shut say that conflicts are resolved through [diplomatic] settlements. 
What happened yesterday in Lausanne was the outcome of an intense conflict that has been ongoing since the Soviet Union collapsed and the West, led by the United States, took over the management of the world since there was nobody to oppose or deter it. 
The outcome of this conflict is simple: the West has capitulated!

"Many in the world and in the region will look for ways to say that Iran was the loser, but, setting aside the resentment felt by the losers, we hear only the excuses that were voiced by U.S. President Barack Obama in explaining the agreement with Iran. He said clearly and succinctly: after trying everything with Iran, we were left with [only] two options either war or an agreement so we opted for an agreement. 

Obama did not say that war was an unrealistic option, but that is the truth.  The most important fact is that, yesterday, the West did not [just] acknowledge Iran's right to attain nuclear energy. 
It acknowledged that any people that has a clever and capable leadership, and has unity and determination, is entitled to receive all its rights.   [Therefore,] in the coming years we shall witness a growing rebellion against the hegemony of America and the West.

"In the period between today and June 30 [the date slated for the signing of a final agreement], the enemies of Iran not the enemies of the U.S.will attempt to blow up the agreement or plant booby traps [along its path] in order to thwart it. 
But this time they will have to take into consideration that the bombs [they plant] will blow up [in the faces of] America and  Europe before their repercussions reach Iran.

"Those in the world who are on the side of good have an easy way to deal with the events. They need only witness the rage of the global right-wing [elements] that want to continue oppressing the peoples, the rage of that racist enemy of humanity, Israel, and the rage of the benighted and backward regimes in the Middle East to know that these elements want only evil.

"What happened yesterday can only be called historic, and Obama accurately described what really took place. 
He described the facts of the negotiations, which reflect the real balance of power. He was not happy enough to say that this was a new victory for America. Rather, he came close to saying that there had been no other choice. 

But the real tragedy for the enemies of Iran around the world was that they heard Obama end his speech yesterday with  the words "Khamenei, I am at your service!"

Not one Islamic States have free press. 
So what you read regarding negative reporting 
on the US EU official deal with Iran it´s what 
the states accept to be published!

Many Arabs have expressed deep concern over the nuclear deal that was reached last week between Iran and the world powers, including the US.
Arab leaders and heads of state were polite enough not to voice public criticism of the agreement when President Barack Obama phoned them to inform them about it. But this has not stopped Arab politicians, political analysts and columnists reflecting government thinking in the Arab world from lashing out at what they describe as "Obama's bad and dangerous deal with Iran."
The Arabs, especially those living in the Gulf, see the framework agreement as a sign of US "weakness" and a green light to Iran for Iran to pursue its "expansionist" scheme in the Arab world.
"Some Arab countries are opposed to the nuclear deal because it poses a threat to their interests," said the Egyptian daily Al-Wafd in an article entitled, "Politicians: (President Barack) Obama's deal with Iran threatens Arab world."

The newspaper quoted Hani al-Jamal, an Egyptian political and regional researcher, as saying that the deal means that the international community has accepted Iran as a nuclear power. He predicted that the framework agreement would put Iran and some Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt on a course of collision.

Al-Jamal advised the Arab countries to form a "Sunni NATO" that would guarantee Pakistan's status as a nuclear power Arab ally in face of the "Iranian and Israeli threat."
Jihad Odeh, an Egyptian professor of political science, said that Obama's "achievements are designed to dismantle the Arab world. Obama wants to make historic achievements before the end of his term in office by destroying Al-Qaeda, seeking rapprochement with Cuba and reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran."

Although Saudi Arabia, which is currently waging war on Iranian-backed Houthi militiamen in Yemen, "welcomed" the nuclear agreement, it has privately expressed concern over the deal.

Similarly, several Gulf countries that initially welcomed the agreement are beginning to voce concern over its repercussions on the region. For the past several months, the Arabs have been warning against Iran's ongoing effort to take control over their countries.
"The US surely does not want to see a more powerful Iranian hegemony in the region, but at the same time, it does not appear to mind some kind of Iranian influence in the region," said Nasser Ahmed Bin Gaith, a United Arab Emirates researcher. "Iran has been seeking to reclaim its previous role as the region's police."

Bin Gaith said that it was clear that a Western recognition of Iranian regional influence would come at the expense of the Gulf countries.
"The Gulf states should build strategic partnerships with the regional powers of Pakistan and Turkey, who share the Gulf nations' fears of Iranian ambitions in the region," he added.
Echoing widespread fear among Arabs of Iran's territorial ambitions in the Middle East, political analyst Hassan al-Barari wrote in Qatar's daily Al-Sharq against the policy of appeasement toward Tehran.

"Iran has tried to intervene in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria and it is seeing that it's not paying any price; on the contrary, there are attempts by the big powers to reach understandings with Iran," al-Barari pointed out. There is also a feeling in Tehran that the US is avoiding a military confrontation with the Iranians and their proxies. The Gulf countries have learned from the lessons of the past in various areas. The policy of appeasement has only led to wars. Any kind of appeasement with Iran will only lead it to ask for more and probably meddle in the internal affairs of the Arab countries and increase its arrogance."

Even Jordanians have joined the chorus of Arabs expressing fear over Iran's growing threat to the Arab world, especially in wake of the nuclear deal with the US and the big powers.
Salah al-Mukhtar, a Jordanian columnist, wrote an article entitled, "Oh Arabs wake up, your enemy is Iran," in which he accused the US of facilitating Tehran's wars against the Arab countries.

Describing Iran as "Eastern Israel," al-Mukhtar said that the most dangerous aspect of the framework agreement is that allows Iran to continue with its "destructive wars" against the Arabs. "This is a dangerous agreement, particularly for Saudi Arabia and the opposition forces in Iraq and Syria," the Jordanian columnist cautioned. This agreement provides Iran with what it needs most to pursue its wars and expansionism against the Arabs: funds. Lifting the sanctions is America's way of backing the dangerous and direct wars against Arabs; the lifting of the sanctions also provides the Iranians with the funds needed to push with their Persian advancement. The US wants to drain Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf countries in preparation for dividing them."

Lebanon's English language The Daily Star newspaper also voiced skepticism over the nuclear deal. "For all the talk of this deal contributing to making the world safer, if Obama is truly concerned with his legacy, especially in the Middle East, he must now work with Iran to encourage it to become a regular member of the international community once again, and not a country which sponsors conflict, whether directly or via proxies, across the region," the paper editorialized. "Otherwise, this deal could just leave Iran emboldened in its expansionist designs."

In addition to the Arabs, Iranian opposition figures have also come out against the nuclear deal.
Maryam Rajavi, an Iranian politician and President of the National Council of Resistance, commented that the a "statement of generalities, without spiritual leader Khamenie's signature and official approval, does not block Tehran's path to a nuclear bomb nor prevent its intrinsic deception.

"Continuing talks with religious fascism in Iran - as part of a policy of appeasement - will not secure the region and world from the threat of nuclear proliferation," Rajavi warned. "Complying with UN Security Council resolutions is the only way to block the mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons. Leniency and unwarranted concessions by the P5+1 to the least trustworthy regime in the world today only grants it more time and further aggravates the dangers it poses to the Iranian people, to the region and to the wider world."

Lies as an agreement ? 
Iran’s Farsi written agreement on ‘the deal’ contradicts Obama’s English written agreement

“Iran Agrees to Detailed Nuclear Outline,” The New York Times headline claimed on Friday. 
That found an echo in the Washington Post headline of the same day: “Iran agrees to nuclear restrictions in framework deal with world powers.”

Sure it would be so if we could trust both parts to be smart enough to bind the agreement as commonly in one language without free interpretations after translating and giving any press statement without an originally signed document.

But the first thing to know about the highly hyped “historic achievement” that President Obama is trying to sell is that there has been no agreement on any of the fundamental issues that led to international concern about Iran’s secret nuclear activities and led to six mandatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and 13 years of diplomatic seesaw.

All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner.

First, we have a joint statement in English in 291 words by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy point-woman Federica Mogherini, who led the so-called P5+1 group of nations including the US in the negotiations.

Next we have the official Iranian text, in Persian, which runs into 512 words. The text put out by the French comes with 231 words. The prize for “spinner-in-chief” goes to US Secretary of State John Kerry who has put out a text in 1,318 words and acts as if we have a done deal. It is not only in their length that the texts differ.  They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives.
The Mogherini and French texts are vague enough to be ultimately meaningless, even as spin.

The Farsi (Iranian) text carefully avoids words that might give the impression that anything has been agreed by the Iranian side or that the Islamic Republic has offered any concessions.

The Farsi (Iranian) text is labelled as a press statement only. The American text, however, pretends to enumerate “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” and claims key points have been “decided.” What remains to be done is work out “implementation details.”  When referring to what Iran is supposed to do, the Iranian text uses a device of Persian grammar known as “nakarah,” a form of verbs in which the authorship of a deed remains open to speculation.

For example: “ It then happened that . . .” or “that is to be done.”
But when it comes to things the US and allies are supposed to do, the grammatical form used is “maerfah” which means the precise identification of the author.

This is an example of the first form: “The nuclear facilities at Fordow shall be developed into a center for nuclear research and advanced Physics.” It is not clear who is going to do those things, over what length of time, and whether that would be subject to any international supervision.

An example of the second form: “The United Nations shall abrogate its previous resolutions while the United States and the European Union will immediately lift sanctions [imposed on] financial, banking, insurance, investment and all services related to oil, gas, petrochemicals and car industry.”

The Iranian text opens by insisting that it has absolutely no “legal aspect” and is intended only as “a guideline for drafting future accords.”
The American text claims that Iran has agreed to do this or that, for example reducing the number of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,500.

The Iranian text, however, says that Iran “shall be able to . . .” or “qader khahad boud” in Farsi to do such a thing. The same is true about enrichment in Fordow. The Americans say Iran has agreed to stop enrichment there for 15 years. The Iranian text, however, refers to this as something that Iran “will be able to do,” if it so wished.

Sometimes the two texts are diametrically opposed "some say", however if so, why does these politicians have secretaries and ministries diplomats and scientists, linguistically geniuses at their services ?
It seems non of these options where used as:
The American statement claims that Iran has agreed not to use advanced centrifuges, each of which could do the work of 10 old ones. The Iranian text, however, insists that “on the basis of solutions found, work on advanced centrifuges shall continue on the basis of a 10-year plan.”

The American text claims that Iran has agreed to dismantle the core of the heavy water plutonium plant in Arak. The Iranian text says the opposite. The plant shall remain and be updated and modernized.

In the past two days Kerry and Obama and their apologists have been all over the place claiming that the Iranian nuclear project and its military-industrial offshoots would be put under a kind of international tutelage for 10, 15 or even 25 years.

From funny farm management to global La -La Land
Believe it or not but, the Farsi (Iranian) , Italian and French texts contain no such figures.
The US talks of sanctions “ relief” while Iran claims the sanctions would be “immediately terminated.”

The American text claims Tehran has agreed to take measures to reassure the international community on military aspects of its nuclear project, an oblique reference to Iran’s development, with help from North Korea, of missiles designed to carry nuclear warheads. There is absolutely no echo of that in the Iranian and other non-American texts.

In his jubilatory remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday, Obama tried to sell the Americans a bill of goods.

He made three outrageous claims.
The first was that when he became president Iran had “ thousands of centrifuges” which would now be cut down to around 6,000. In fact, in 2008, Iran had only 800 centrifuges. It was on Obama’s watch and because of his perceived weakness that Iran speeded up its nuclear program.

The second claim was that thanks to the scheme he is peddling “all of Iran’s paths” to developing a nuclear arsenal would be blocked. And, yet, in the same remarks he admitted that even if the claimed deal is fully implemented, Iran would still be able to build a bomb in just a year, presumably jumping over the “blocked paths.”

Obama’s worst claim was that the only alternative to his attempts at surrendering to the obnoxious Khomeinist regime would be US involvement in “another ground war in the Middle East.” Its hardly the truth as he has shown that even Russia is biting the carpet if under embargo! So to keep up a war is naturally idiotic if there is a peaceful alternative. And the cheapest of the alternatives is and stays a Embargo that was also not so long ago bringing Iran to its knees. What irritates SDR here is that with such non costly functioning alternatives Obamas hunger for personal glory in the media with his political Glam -Pac they still choose a posing picture instead of taking the best alternative solving of this matter. (That would not give them a winning pose for the press like now )
This can and should not be tolerated by the tax payers, as we all will now have to pay for significantly more defence
spending in the name of balance that now just tipped the entire scale towards Iran.

What more Obama also ignores the fact that forcing Iran through diplomatic action, sanctions and proximity pressures to abide by six UN resolutions could also be considered as an alternative. In other words, preemptive surrender is not the only alternative to war.

Obama is playing a bizarre game that could endanger regional peace and threaten the national security of the US and its allies. He insisted that Kerry secure “something, anything” before April 14 to forestall the US Congress’ planned moves on Iran. And he most certainly wanted to stick it to Netanyahu, settle scores with Republicans, and please his faction within the Democratic Party; In other words, taking strategic risks with national security and international peace in the pursuit of dubious partisan gains.

Timeline: The Iranian Nuclear Disaster

Kicking Over the Table in the Middle East
April 2, 2015: The United States and Iran, along with other members of the Western negotiating coalition, reached an agreement whose end point will be Iran's monitored abandonment of any ambition to build nuclear weapons, coupled with the end of sanctions on Iran's economy. It is not a final agreement. That will take until at least June 30. There are also powerful forces in Iran and the United States that oppose the agreement and might undermine it. And in the end, neither side is certain to live up the deal. Nevertheless, there has been an agreement between the Great Satan and a charter member of the Axis of Evil, and that matters. But it matters less for what it says about Iran's nuclear program, or economic sanctions, than for how it affects the regional balance of power, a subject we wrote on in this week's Geopolitical Weekly.

Iran Reaches an Agreement With the West
April 2, 2015: After double overtime negotiations in Lausanne, Iran and the six world powers announced a framework deal that largely covers the key sticking points of a nuclear agreement, leaving the technical details to be worked out over the next three months. Though there are several critical ambiguities in the joint statement, on the whole this statement is highly favorable to Iran. The careful wording was designed to enable Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to sell this deal at home and could help stave off U.S. congressional dissent in the months leading up to the June 30 deadline — though this deal will not depend on congressional approval for implementation. 

Washington Turns Mistrust Into a Virtue in Negotiations
Feb. 4, 2015: More than two weeks after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif took a 15-minute stroll in Geneva with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran's hard-line journalists and politicians are still lambasting the foreign minister for the seemingly innocuous move. As parliament grilled him, Zarif defended himself by arguing he had just taken a midnight flight followed by five hours of intense negotiations and needed fresh air. His opponents, however, charged him with "trampling the blood of martyrs" and of displaying a level of intimacy appropriate only for lovers or "partners of international thievery."

A Financially Stressed Rouhani Takes on His Opponents 
Jan. 13, 2015: The coming week will be an important one for Iran's relations with the United States. With just six weeks to go before the deadline in the nuclear negotiations, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will travel to Geneva to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Jan. 14. The two will discuss ways to speed up the negotiating process, and then U.S. and Iranian negotiating teams will spend Jan. 15-17 working out technical details of the agreement. Finally, on Jan. 18, Iran will meet with the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany to round out this stage of the negotiation.

Iran's Presidential Camp Goes on the Offensive
Jan. 5, 2015: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has managed to undermine his right-wing opponents, who primarily are led by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This progress could mature into a more sustainable lead for Rouhani's pragmatic conservatives, provided the president can demonstrate that his policy of negotiating with the United States has strengthened the Islamic republic. If Rouhani fails to show progress, his present gains will dissipate, and Iran's conservatives could also resurge. 

Stratfor's 2015 Annual Forecast
Jan. 12, 2015: An understanding between Washington and Tehran will endure this year and Iran will maintain limits on enrichment activity while the United States gradually eases sanctions, relying principally on executive power to do so. Lower oil prices will constrain Iran, as will the prospect of Iran becoming a more politically viable energy alternative to Russia. These limits will help underpin this negotiation. However, the political complexities surrounding this process, along with technical constraints, mean the Iranian energy sector is unlikely to see a revival this year that significantly increases the amount of Iranian oil on the market.

The U.S.-Iran Talks Transcend the Nuclear Issue
Nov. 24, 2014: The second deadline to reach a final agreement on Iran's controversial nuclear program has expired, with both Iran and the six world powers agreeing on a second extension that gives them seven months to reach a comprehensive agreement. The United States and Iran were not expected to reach a final agreement by the Nov. 24 deadline. What is more important is that the negotiations have reached a point where both sides have an interest in continuing discussions until they reach a settlement. In the long run, the nuclear issue is not as important for either side as the regional dynamics are.

Third-Quarter Forecast
July 8, 2014: Iran and Western powers face a looming deadline to either reach a negotiated settlement on Iran's nuclear program or agree to continue negotiations. We do not expect Iran and the P-5+1 group (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) to reach a final agreement by the initial deadline of July 20, but both sides will demonstrate enough progress in the negotiations to continue to work toward a comprehensive settlement. U.S. President Barack Obama will rely on his executive authority to reduce sanctions pressure on Iran, including relaxing enforcement of current trade and financial sanctions, in order to help Tehran's negotiating team maintain enough leeway within Iran to continue talks. Iranian energy exports could grow slowly toward the end of the quarter as Iran and its large Asian customers take advantage of the minor sanctions relief, but we still do not expect a wholesale lifting of oil sanctions on Iran or significant Western investment into Iran's energy sector this year.

In Nuclear Talks, Iran Resists Russian Advances
July 2, 2014: As foreign diplomats arrived in Vienna on July 2 for the sixth round of talks between representatives of Iran and P-5+1 countries, key sticking points remained unresolved. Ahead of the July 20 deadline, the most important topics are the future of Iran's uranium enrichment program, concerns about the heavy-water plutonium reactor in Arak and the extent to which the United States and the European Union will roll back sanctions. The P-5+1 is composed of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany, but it is Russia that will be the key player to watch as the talks progress. Moscow wants to improve its relationship with Iran to undermine the potential new balance of power in the Middle East, a balance that would free up U.S. resources and allow Washington to counter Russian influence. While recent Russian outreaches to the Iranians are unlikely to prevent a transitional agreement with Washington in the coming weeks, Iran will continue to exploit the U.S.-Russia split to enhance its negotiating position against the United States.

The Meaning of Iran
Jan. 29, 2014: The nuclear talks with Iran have two meanings. For those highly skeptical of the process the talks are, or should be, about nuclear weapons — and about preventing Iran from obtaining them. For the Obama administration, which is committed to the process, the nuclear issue is partly a pretext, something that must be finessed, in order to reach a strategic understanding with Iran.

Could a Detente With the U.S. Change Iran?
Jan. 23, 2014: The preliminary agreement over Iran's nuclear program is nearing implementation. But for all that has been said about how a rapprochement will affect bilateral ties, it is worth noting how it will affect each country individually. Since September, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has often said he wants to repair ties with the United States. This is partly because the stakes are higher for the Islamic republic, which could change fundamentally if Tehran normalized relations with Washington.

Strategic Reversal: The United States, Iran and the Middle East
Jan. 5, 2014: Efforts to achieve a comprehensive agreement between Iran and the United States will remain at center stage in 2014. Stratfor founder and Chairman George Friedman predicted this outcome in Chapter 7 of his 2011 book, The Next Decade. To give our subscribers a more comprehensive look at the geopolitical realities that produced the current state of affairs and that will continue to steer the detente process.

Detainees as a Bargaining Chip in U.S.-Iranian Negotiations
Dec. 19, 2013: The resurfacing in Iranian and U.S. media of the case of missing U.S. citizen Robert Levinson offers a small but revealing snapshot of the ongoing thaw of ties between Washington and Tehran. In a news conference Dec. 17, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham reiterated Iran's claim that Levinson is no longer in the country. Afkham went on to mention Iran's concern over Iranian detainees in the United States — a sign that Tehran may be pursuing a prisoner swap with Washington as part of broader negotiations.

Next Steps for the U.S.-Iran Deal
Nov. 25, 2013: What was unthinkable for many people over many years happened in the early hours of Nov. 24 in Geneva: The United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran struck a deal. After a decadelong struggle, the two reached an accord that seeks to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains a civilian one. It is a preliminary deal, and both sides face months of work to batten down domestic opposition, build convincing mechanisms to assure compliance and unthread complicated global sanctions.

U.S., Iran: Why They Will Now Likely Negotiate
Aug. 2, 2013: Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington will improve after Iran's new president assumes office Aug. 4, ending months of speculation over whether Iran and Washington will find accommodation in their nuclear standoff. In fact, in recent weeks both sides have expressed interest in resuming bilateral nuclear talks. Those talks never took place simply because Iran never had to participate in them. Its economy was in decent shape despite the sanctions, its regional geopolitical position had been secure and its domestic political environment was in disarray. But now things are different. Tehran is devoting an unsustainable amount of resources to Syrian President Bashar al Assad in his fight against the Syrian rebellion. And while economic sanctions have not yet forced Iran to the negotiating table, Iranian leaders will likely choose to engage the United States voluntarily to forestall further economic decline. The inauguration of President-elect Hassan Rouhani provides an ideal opportunity for them to do so.

Iran Lays the Groundwork for Negotiations
Nov. 6, 2012: In a press conference Saturday night, Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Hassan Asafari spoke about Tehran's willingness to suspend its efforts to enrich uranium to 20 percent. Saudi-owned Al Arabiya apparently misquoted Asafari, reporting that Iran had suspended uranium enrichment as a goodwill gesture ahead of the yet-to-be-scheduled resumption of the P-5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany) nuclear talks with Iran. On Sunday, however, Asafari clarified on the English-language website of Iran's state-owned Press TV that the country had in fact not halted 20 percent enrichment, but he maintained that Tehran — in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions — would accept enriched uranium from abroad to supply its five-megawatt Tehran Research Reactor for civilian use.

Timing Is Critical for Nuclear Talks
Oct. 23, 2012: Emerging conditions have created a framework for serious negotiations to develop between Iran and the United States. The dialogue would not only address the issue of Iran's nuclear program but also include broader issues, such as Syria and Afghanistan, and the core issue of what level of recognition the United States is willing to give to an Iranian sphere of influence in the region. Over the past several weeks, “Stratfor did carefully track the signs pointing to this dialogue as Iran, using Turkey as a facilitator. has attempted to feel out a dialogue with Washington. The pieces appear to be falling in place, but there is still the matter of getting past the U.S. election before any bold moves are attempted by either side to carry the conversation forward.

Iran's Nuclear Program and Its Nuclear Option
Nov. 8, 2011:  Details and specifics of the forthcoming International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on the Iranian nuclear program continued to leak out over the weekend, with the formal report expected later this week. The growing rhetoric about Iran, including talk from certain Israeli and American corners about an air campaign against Iran — had already begun to intensify in anticipation of the report, which will say more explicitly than previous IAEA assessments that Iran is indeed actively pursuing a nuclear weaponization program. 

Thinking About the Unthinkable: A U.S.-Iranian Deal
March 1, 2010: The United States apparently has reached the point where it must either accept that Iran will develop nuclear weapons at some point if it wishes, or take military action to prevent this. There is a third strategy, however: Washington can seek to redefine the Iranian question. As we have no idea what leaders on either side are thinking, exploring this represents an exercise in geopolitical theory. Let's begin with the two apparent stark choices.

Original Sources:
The New York Times
[1] Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), via MEMRI . April 3, 2015.

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