JCPOA First Thoughts

Like everyone who reads this blog, I’ve been glued to the news, Twitter, and email today, watching developments unfold in the announcement of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between the P5+1 and Iran. This is a historic development and one that I very much welcome.  Much will be said here and elsewhere in the coming days about this framework agreement, and the process moving forward, but I wanted to share a few first thoughts today.

1. It is vitally important to understand that only the statement that was read in full by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the text of which you can see here, represents an agreed statement by the P5+1 and Iran. The “Fact Sheet” that is being widely circulated and commented on by the media, is only a U.S. White House statement of facts, and was NOT AGREED TO BY IRAN OR ANY OF THE OTHER NEGOTIATING PARTIES.  It is a unilateral U.S. interpretation of the facts and nothing more. So it should not be treated as a correct representation of the points of agreement between the parties.

2. Within the U.S. White House statement of facts, I think that the following paragraphs are least likely to represent what will actually be agreed to over the coming months by Iran:

Iran will be required to grant access to the IAEA to investigate suspicious sites or
allegations of a covert enrichment facility, conversion facility, centrifuge production
facility, or yellowcake production facility anywhere in the country . . .

Iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the IAEA’s concerns regarding
the Possible Military Dimensions (PMD) of its program.

I cannot see the final June comprehensive agreement including either of these provisions, at least not in any proximity to the way they are written here. For one thing, the word “suspicious” will not, I guarantee you, be a part of any language to which Iran agrees. I also think, more importantly, that the PMD issue will have to be agreed in much more detail and nuance in the months to come. I personally cannot see the Iranians agreeing to a provision that makes the entire deal hinge on the IAEA’s satisfaction in resolving its concerns over the PMD claims. As one friend put it today, that would be a poison pill for the whole agreement. So I would look for this issue to either be left out of a final agreement in June, or handled in a much different way than stated here.

3. Overall I think the framework of agreement is a very good one. Iran definitely made some very significant concessions. In fact, one might be forgiven for thinking that, with all of the specificity placed on Iranian concessions, and really only fairly vague wording on the lifting of unilateral and multilateral sanctions (i.e. regarding timing) in the joint statement, Iran showed the most diplomatic courage in agreeing to this framework. I’m sure there is much that was agreed to that we don’t know about, and I have no doubt that Zarif and his team reached a satisfactory understanding with their negotiating partners on the sanctions question from their perspective. But I suppose I just wanted to highlight that Iran is the party that made the most obvious significant concessions in this framework agreement, and I think that they should be congratulated and respected for this. Though I have zero confidence that the right wing of American politics will see it that way.

UPDATE: This appears to be the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s “fact sheet,” analogous to the one released by the White House.

UPDATE to the UPDATE: Actually, it now appears that that was not an official Iranian fact sheet. Ariane Tabatabai explains here.

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71 Comments on “JCPOA First Thoughts”

  1. Johnboy says:

    Dan,
    I’ve just read that statement, and three sentences have me scratching my head.

    “A set of measures have been agreed to monitor the provisions of the JCPOA including implementation of the modified Code 3.1 and provisional application of the Additional Protocol.”

    What’s the meaning of “provisional application”? Does that mean the Iranians will voluntarily comply with the terms of the AP, without compelling them to ratify that protocol?

    “The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.”

    I assume “terminate the implementation” is diplo-speak for suspending – but not repealing – the EU sanctions.

    But I am uncertain what difference – if any – there is between “terminate the implementation” (re: EU sanctions) and “cease the application” (re: USA sanctions).

    Is it the case that the USA sanctions are already happening, but the EU sanctions are currently still in the we’re-planning-them phase?

    And am I correct that the sentence above means that the USA’s own obligation regarding sanctions is limited only to it promising not to take the big stick to foreign companies who trade with Iran?

    “A new UN Security Council Resolution will endorse the JCPOA, terminate all previous nuclear-related resolutions and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time.”

    All previous UN Security Council-mandated sanctions are toast, but what “restrictive measures” are intended here?

    • Dan Joyner says:

      Hi Johnboy,
      I definitely caught that “provisional application of the Additional Protocol” language too. My first thought would be that this means Iran will go back to voluntarily applying the AP, without having it ratified by the Majlis. Maybe the idea is so that they don’t have to promise to get something through their legislature, which could be tricky and which isn’t something any executive can promise. They can, though, promise to apply the AP even without it being ratified. Again just my first thoughts. Open to other explanations.

      I’ll actually let others voice their impressions about the interesting sanctions-related terms you correctly cite to. I really don’t have any particular insight on them. I do think that the questions you’re asking about precise meaning and timing/phasing of implementation are exactly the sorts of things that are going to be a big part of the negotiations from now until June. I don’t know if we can divine much about the parties’ agreements thus far through the wording of this initial text. Maybe we can. I’d welcome anyone’s thoughts on this.

      • Johnboy says:

        Ah, OK, that’s a good point: there is a tendency to think of “the other” as monolithic.

        But you are correct that it would be just as inappropriate for Zarif to commit Iran to a particular parliamentary outcome as it would be for (say) Kerry to agree to language that said “And the USA agrees that Congress will pass legislation that……”

        Imagine the howls of outrage from Boehner etc…..

  2. yousaf says:

    Iran has basically rolled over and played dead. But the timing of sanctions relief in the WH factsheet appears to be a poison pill that may derail a final deal.

    • Dan Joyner says:

      Yes. This is among the reasons why I really think we shouldn’t read too much into the “fact sheet” text. Zarif himself sent out a Tweet yesterday disparaging the WH release as “spin”:

      “The solutions are good for all, as they stand. There is no need to spin using “fact sheets” so early on.”

      • yousaf says:

        So how should we treat the WH factsheet? A wish-list of US concerns unagreed to by Iran?

      • Dan Joyner says:

        Yes, exactly. Though that’s not how it’s being treated by the media. They’re erroneously treating it as the text of the agreed deal. I’m sure that’s exactly how the WH hoped it would be perceived by both the media and by Congress, but it’s simply not correct.

    • Johnboy says:

      Well, yeah, they did.

      But if the Iranians were never intending to build nukes then so much of what they had been doing for the last decade (20% enrichment, to take just one example) can best be explained as them wanting to stock up on more and better bargaining chips.

      And, heck, it’s pointless doing that unless you eventually plan to cash those chips in.

      Iran has just cashed in those chips, and by doing so has kept its nuclear program, including its “right to enrich”.

      A much reduced program, sure, but reduced back to what it was a decade ago, not “reduced down to nothing”.

      Which is where it would have gone if Tehran hadn’t assiduously stockpiled those chips.

      Think of it this way: if Iran had been offered this deal in 2005 it would have been ecstatic. And while it’s taken Tehran a decade of tough-talking and hanging-tough, they’ve finally convinced Uncle Sam to agree to THAT deal instead of “no enrichment, not ever”.

      What we have today is a deal that the US could have clinched a decade ago, and clinched it in an afternoon. All they need to have done was put it on the table in 2005 and the Iranians would have fallen over themselves in their rush to sign it.

      So congrats to Kerry but, really, what took you this long?

      • Cyrus says:

        Iran was forced to enrich to 20% and repeatedly offered to cease doing so, if it could just buy the fuel for the TRR that uses 20% enriched uranium fuel. Note that the TRR was never even a hypothetical proliferation risk, being far too small and well-known to IAEA inspectors. By preventing Iran from fueling it, no nonproliferation goal was served and just made life difficult for Irans 100,000 cancer patients. The policy of exaggerating Irans “nuclear threat” to justify an agenda of imposing regime change there (as was “WMDs in Iraq) only served to further encourage Irans nuclear capabilities, which the US now has to negotiate down.

      • Dan Joyner says:

        Well said, Johnboy.

  3. bkellman says:

    There is one point of Dan’s observation with which I entirely agree: Iran is the party that made the most obvious significant concessions in this framework agreement. There can be no serious doubt of the truth of this statement as the other interested parties including the United States made no concessions whatsoever except to agree to terminate their self-imposed refusal to do business with Iran.
    It is also fair to say that the deal’s biggest beneficiary is Iran, diminishing the risks of its being violently attacked, providing international support for its peaceful nuclear activities, and restoring its opportunity for normal economic relations with the rest of the world.
    The important thing here is not to score much less to commend anyone for their concessions. The Iran nuclear deal is is not a sporting contest. It is proof that the nuclear nonproliferation regime can successfully offer a third alternative to either living with insecurity or resorting to violence.
    This deal could not be seriously envisioned without an international legal framework for nuclear nonproliferation that is extremely vital for everyone’s security. And the deal has strengthened international law, confirming the role of great power governance, principally through the Security Council and the IAEA, and legitimizing their use of nonviolent enforcement measures (sanctions).
    The “winner” of the deal is global governance of nuclear nonproliferation, and we are all the beneficiaries..

    • yousaf says:

      A couple of caveats. It is far too early to declare success. The WH factsheet contains serious red flags:

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/02/iran-nuclear-deal-key-details

      While I am happy that an initial understanding has been penned I am concerned about the language in the factsheet. e.g. the continued inclusion of “Possible Military Dimensions” (PMD) and the sanctions relief timing — after Arak is modified? years?:

      “All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency).”

      Implementing the verification measures in the JCPOA understanding are important enough that one hopes the P5+1 will show more flexibility on sanctions relief timing.

      It is good that an understanding has been reached but the devil is in the details, and there appear to be several poison-pills in the White House factsheet that could derail a final deal.

      I also disagree that the deal has strengthened international law. It has basically admitted that the NPT is insufficient to curb non-proliferation and that far stronger measures are needed, like an NPT 2.0:

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/12/19/radioactive-decay/

    • yousaf says:

      I should qualify what I said: by saying “insufficient to curb non-proliferation” above I meant “insufficient to curb non-proliferation to the extent desired by the UNSC/P5/nuclear-haves”

    • Dan Joyner says:

      Wow, Barry. Sounds like you are running for Secretary of State under the next Bush administration 🙂

      Actually, I think President HR Clinton would be just as hawkish as President JE Bush would be on Iran. She seems to be well and truly in the pocket of AIPAC. I don’t think this deal would have a chance of being done on either of their watches. I’m very glad that the Obama/Kerry team is still in charge for now.

      We can of course disagree about the big picture of this deal – who are the good guys and the bad guys. Whose faults have brought us to where we are now. Who are the winners and losers of a potential deal along the lines of what has been agreed so far. I’ve certainly written a lot about these questions on this blog. No need to rehash all of that here.

      Probably best for now to focus on the potential for moving forward with a diplomatic resolution that will be in the best interests of all sides. I think that if a deal is finally actually agreed by June, it will do that.

  4. […] UPDATE:  The “Joint Statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif” can be found here.  Dan Joyner offers preliminary thoughts on the substance of the deal here. […]

  5. yousaf says:

    Good realistic reporting instead of premature cheerleading:

    http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-science-nuclear-20150404-story.html

    • Johnboy says:

      Yep, interesting. But not a word regarding sanctions-relief, the scheduling of which to my any of thinking is far more likely to throw a spanner in the works.

  6. Johnboy says:

    I’m confused: is that joint statement from Moghrini and Zarif going to be the first and last OFFICIAL statement from all the parties regarding what was just agreed in Lausanne?

    That’s it? And the next OFFICIAL statement won’t come until the final deal is stitched up in June?

    Isn’t that just a recipe for “he said she said” mischief, of which the WH “Fact sheet” will just be the first example?

    • yousaf says:

      And it’s not all the parties just EU+Iran (not China, Russia, or US).

      Here is the Iranian factsheet which differs considerably from the White House version:

      http://iranmatters.belfercenter.org/blog/translation-iranian-factsheet-nuclear-negotiations

      “…all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement”

      i.e. in July?

      cf. WH version:

      “” All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the ***completion**** , by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency).”

      • Johnboy says:

        The Iranian fact sheet contradicts itself regarding sanctions.

        Note this: “all of the sanctions will be immediately removed AFTER REACHING A COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT”

        Now compare with this: “According to the reached solutions, AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN OF JOINT ACTION, all of the UN resolutions will be revoked and all of the multilateral economic and financial sanctions by the EU and the unilateral ones by the US will be annulled.”

        So which is it? “Immediately” after the agreement is signed, or only after that agreement is actually implemented?

        I think you’ll find that the Iranians are playing with words here.

      • Andreas says:

        @ yousaf @ johnboy

        When reconstructing the textual basis with the help of the Farsi original you’ll find that the Belfer Center has messed up things.
        Though claiming “Iran Matters has translated the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s official “fact sheet” that’s simply not the case.
        see:http://iranmatters.belfercenter.org/blog/translation-iranian-factsheet-nuclear-negotiations

        Rather they’ve hauled over an article from FARS NEWS
        see: http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13940113000355
        which, however, contains – after an intro section – the text of a “khoulase” (“outline”, not exactly a “fact-sheet”) from the Iranian MFA.
        see: http://mfa.ir/index.aspx?siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&fkeyid=&siteid=1&pageid=176&newsview=334249

        UPDATE: link outdated, text now to be found e.g. at
        http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/699575

        Thus the Belfer text is a tripartite one – without any indication of this important fact:

        1) Belfer intro
        (starting from: “Translation of Iranian Fact Sheet on the Nuclear Negotiations”

        => 2) FARS NEWS intro
        (starting from: “What solutions did Iran and the P5+1 reach?”

        3) The “Khoulase”/outline from the Iranian MFA
        (starting from: “The Islamic Republic of Iran and the countries in the P5+1, …”

        Are ye still with me, gentlemen?
        Fine, then onwards:

        It’s ONLY the Fars News article intro (2) – and NOT the Iranian MFA text – that’s harbouring the 2 glaringly contradicting statements:

        – (A) “… all of the sanctions will be immediately removed after reaching a comprehensive agreement …”
        and
        – (B) “… after the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Action …”

        The MFA khoulase/outline only mentions (B).

        Voilà!

      • Johnboy says:

        Thanks, Andreas, that clears up the contradiction.

    • yousaf says:

      Thanks Andreas– just saw your post now. Good points.

  7. yousaf says:

    Suzanne Maloney gets it:

    http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/markaz/posts/2015/04/02-iran-nuclear-agreement-talks-zarif-kerry-rouhani

    “One of the biggest red flags about today’s announcement is that while Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini issued a brief and relatively vague joint statement, there was no official text released that outlines any actual agreement among the seven parties. News of the terms of the deal began to trickle out in the Iranian media in the moments before Mogherini and Zarif spoke, and the White House followed up shortly thereafter with a two-page fact sheet.

    Here’s the rub, though — despite the apparent breakthrough, the official American and Iranian narratives of what was agreed upon differs considerably, and in crucial dimensions. While the White House version asserts that “Iran has agreed to reduce its current stockpile of about 10,000 kg of low-enriched uranium (LEU) to 300 kg of 3.67 percent LEU for 15 years,” the Iranian synopsis of the framework omits any reference to such a reduction.

    Meanwhile, in Tehran’s telling, the agreement would provide far-reaching and effectively permanent repeal of European and American sanctions, while Washington instead suggests that Tehran will see only the nuclear-related sanctions suspended — not revoked — only after “after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps.” The U.S. version also emphasizes snap-back provisions that would lead to the automatic re-imposition of US and European measures if Tehran failed to comply with the terms of the deal, while the Iranian text does not reference this at all.”

  8. Cyrus says:

    The on-going requirement that Iran only import nuclear technology via a “procurement channel” subject to ad hoc approval is interesting, clearly a violation of the NPT-recognized right of NNWS signatories to have access to nuclear tech to the “widest extent possible…eithout discrimination.”

    • yousaf says:

      It seems pretty clear that the WH factsheet is list of wishes not agreed upon issues.

      • Cyrus says:

        I would hope so. Any lawyer who approves such cage wording would be incompetent. But the problem is more fundamnetally, the White House fact sheet evinces no sense of quid pro quo, and so the question remains whether the US is negotati g inn bad faith, again. The only tea concession by the US is only an implied recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium, which was already established under international law anyway.

        There is no agreement, folks.

  9. tim says:

    I think Dan’s optimism is unwarranted, US is clearly positioning itself to keep the sanctions infrastructure intact while extracting all the Iran concessions. That will not fly in Iran so we are headed toward an impasse unless Zarif and company commit political suicide by agreeing to US script.

  10. Johnboy says:

    The main problem that I have with the White House Fact Sheet is the sheer lack of logic behind its claim that there will be both:
    a) phased easing of sanctions on completion of obligations and
    b) automatic snap-back on detection of non-compliance.

    Think about it.

    Because you only need to “phase out” sanctions if you accept that sanctions, once they are suspended, can not easily be reimposed Under *those* circumstances spreading out the lifting of sanctions makes sense, because doing that provides the necessary incentive for the Iranians to stick to their end of the bargain.

    Conversely, if you accept that sanctions automatically “snap-back” should Iran renege on a commitment then you don’t need to “phase out” those sanctions. You can suspend them all as soon as the final deal is signed, precisely because the “threat of snap-back” forces Iran to keep sticking to their end of the bargain.

    Or, in short: it makes sense to have one or the other, but it is illogical to demand both.

    Yet there is the WH Fact Sheet, and it is claiming both, and I think that on this particular point they are talking out of their backside.

  11. Johnboy says:

    I have a question: is there anyone out there that knows the details of the proposed deal that Javad Zarif first put to the E3 negotiators in the 2005 talks that followed the Paris Accord of November 2004?

    I’m taking about the proposal that is discussed here:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/10007603/Iran-how-the-West-missed-a-chance-to-make-peace-with-Tehran.html

    I’m curious to know more about that proposal, because in its rough brush-strokes it sounds like it is Not A Million Miles Removed from the current Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (minus all the sanctions-stuff in the JCPOA, of course).

    Could it really be that a decade of “intense American diplomatic engagement” has done nothing more than to get everyone to the exact same place that they would have been 10 years ago, absent that “engagement”?

  12. Johnboy says:

    Just finished watching the latest State Department Press Briefing and, to be honest, Dan’s fear that the press will just take the WH Fact Sheet “on trust” appears to be unfounded, at least with respect to the reptiles of the press in that briefing.

    The very first question was particularly curly: how do you reconcile an automatic “snap-back” of sanctions with the existence of a “dispute resolution mechanism”?

    Harf didn’t really come up with a good answer, and then…. it went downhill from there……

    I’ll give her credit: she was very well briefed, and stuck to her notes as best she could.

    But, still, the impression I get was that the WH Fact Sheet is looking more and more like a hopeless brief.

  13. yousaf says:

    The most important part of the factsheet:

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/04/240170.htm

    ” Important implementation details are still subject to negotiation”

    Nuff said.

    • Johnboy says:

      Well, yeah, but that’s true of any “framework agreement”, isn’t it?

      After all, that’s what a “framework” is, and the details get bolted onto it later.

      • yousaf says:

        There are 3 factsheets and they don’t all agree with each other — even regarding the framework.

      • Johnboy says:

        Sorry, Yousef, you are incorrect.

        There are two fact sheets, neither of which is an official communique.
        There is also a joint statement, and that is the official communique.

        The joint statement is maddeningly vague, sure, it is, but in the places where it is vague it always stresses that there is actually an agreement between the participants underpinning it – we’re just not gonna’ tell you what it is.

        “limited for specified durations”
        “on a scope and schedule that has been mutually agreed”
        “in agreed areas of research”
        “A set of measures have been agreed to”
        “and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time”

        Notice the use of past or present tense, and the avoidance of future tense.

        This is indeed “an agreement”, albeit a “framework agreement”.

        But it is also “an agreement” where the participants have refused to put out a joint communique detailing what those points of agreement actually are, and that allows the two sides to spin their own stories via those Fact Sheets.

        But you can be certain that neither side is going to work from those Fact Sheets in the weeks and months ahead: they’ll all be working from the one document, which is the one that the Joint Communique keeps teasing us about.

        Apparently it’s all written on a Whoppin’ Big Whiteboard belonging to Wendy Sherman.

        Let’s hope the Iranians took a photo of the damn thing before they left Lausanne….

      • yousaf says:

        You are right: I ought not have mischaracterized the joint communique as a factsheet. My point was there are 3 documents. The joint statement only involves EU-Iran, not US Russia or China. So we do not have a framework agreement between Iran and the US, arguably the major 2 players. We do have one between Iran and the EU.

    • Johnboy says:

      “The joint statement only involves EU-Iran, not US Russia or China.”

      I think you are reading too much into this, Yousaf.

      I believe this latest Joint Statement is merely following the precedent of all previous such announcements, where the EU High Representative and the Iranian Foreign Minister stands on the podium as the representative of ALL the parties.

      That was certainly the case when the interim Joint Plan Of Action was announced: Ashton and Zarif, and not another soul.

      Their statement is an official communique, and it represents the official understanding of ALL the parties, including the USA, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany.

      What the fact sheets represent are the US and Iranian spin regarding:
      a) What is specifically meant by the phrase “specified durations”
      b) What research is allowed in “agreed areas of research”
      c) What has been “set” in those “set of measures” that have “been agreed to”

      And so on and so forth.

      Look, I don’t mind that Obama is furiously spinning his news, just as I don’t mind that Zarif is calling Obama out for spinning the news.

      Let ’em, coz’ that’s mere “politics”, it’s not “diplomacy”

      All the stuff from Lausanne has all been written down – even if nobody will let me peek at it – and I’d bet a big pot o’ gold that when the sides sit down again all those Fact Sheets will be torn up and binned and Wendy’s Whoppin’ Big White Board(tm) will be wheeled into the room and take its pride of place.

      And it’s at that precise moment that the “politics” stops and the “diplomacy” recommences.

    • Johnboy says:

      Yousaf, just further to what I posted, I’d suggest that the points I made explains the lineup in JP Zanders group photo from Lausanne.

      Mogherini and Zarif have pride of place in the centre, even though by any objective measure Mogherini is the least important person in those negotiations.

      But those two represent ALL the parties in any official communiques, and so diplomatic protocol would place them both up front ‘n’ centre in any official group photo.

      A small thing, I suppose, but it’s more evidence that when Mogherini and Zarif stood up and gave their little speech their joint statement laid out the fully-agreed-upon, 100% official position of all the parties to these negotiations.

      An “agreement”, in fact.

  14. yousaf says:

    Johnboy,
    you may be correct,but let’s recall that back in Nov 2013 even the WH announcement of the original JPOA contained an explicit endorsement by all: “…. the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, coordinated by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton) and Iran arrived at technical understandings for the Joint Plan of Action, which will be implemented beginning on January 20, 2014”

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/16/summary-technical-understandings-related-implementation-joint-plan-actio

    All I am saying is that sense of agreement is missing. Hopefully they will get there by July 1.

    I see sanctions relief timing as a major issue.

    • Johnboy says:

      “you may be correct,but let’s recall that back in Nov 2013 even the WH announcement of the original JPOA contained an explicit endorsement by all”

      Well, maybe. I not particularly convinced by that argument, I think the only difference is that back in 2013 all the parties agreed to put all the understandings out there for everyone to see, and that in 2015 – for reasons I can’t begin to guess – some of the parties don’t want The Great Unwashed to see all the gruesome details.

      But that’s not at all the same thing as saying that those gruesome details weren’t agreed to and weren’t written down, which is how I read your argument.

      I think they were, both in 2013 and in 2015.

      “I see sanctions relief timing as a major issue.”

      Again, I’m not completely convinced of that.

      I take it that mothballing the excess IR-1 centrifuges, repurposing the Fordow cascades, and choking down Natanz enrichment are all things that will take months, if that.

      So it’s probably not worth arguing about those, and Iran can give a “win” to Obama by accepting sanctions relief only on completion of those tasks.

      But something like the modifications to Arik is, I assume, a much longer-term process (is a design even ready? Or will this have to be designed from scratch?).

      So that’s a curly one: I assume that a blueprint won’t satisfy the Americans, but Iran will baulk at waiting years for Arik to be completed before getting some sanctions-relief.

      Maybe the sensible compromise there is when the existing core starts being ripped out, because once the core is rubble it can’t be put back in?

      The only task that seems problematic is the existing stockpile of enriched uranium i.e. do the sanctions lift once the stock BEGINS to be shipped out, or does the stockpile have to tick all the way down to 300kg?

      But this is a 10-year schedule, remember, and the State Department press briefing suggested very strongly that even under their (harsh) interpretation of the framework all the sanctions should be gone within a year, and for the next 9 years after that they are relying on “snap-back” to keep Zarif honest.

      So at worse the argument appears to be between “as soon as implementation starts” (the Iranian view, which is still at least 3 months from the signing of the JPCOA) versus “roughly in a year, faster if the Iranians pull their finger out” (which is the USA’s view).

      Plenty of wriggle-room in there to find common ground.

      So call me cautiously optimistic, but sanctions-relief doesn’t really worry me.

      The wording of an all-new UNSC Resolution is a wild-card, but mainly for the opportunity it represents for USA/Russia games.

      But, oh my, PMD is still in there when, really, why hasn’t that laptop been taken out the back and quietly riddled with bullets?

      Because I think that is the issue that can still upset all of this, and it’s an argument over what the Iranians were doing Twelve Long Years Ago.

      Let it go, Wendy, just…. let it go.

      • yousaf says:

        ” saying that those gruesome details weren’t agreed to and weren’t written down, which is how I read your argument.”

        That is exactly my view: I don’t think the gruesome details were agreed to at all. As evidence: the difference in the Iran and WH factsheets.

        What was agreed to is the vague EU-Iran statement sans gruesome details.

      • Johnboy says:

        OK, we’ll just have to agree to differ on that point.

        I read the joint communique very different to you: I take all the wink-wink nudge-nudge references in that communique to be hints that There Is Much More We Could Say, But We Won’t.

        And, again, I don’t take the Battle Of The Two Fact Sheets very seriously at all; they are just two examples of Policy Statements On Full-Spin-Cycle.

        There is still enough ambiguity in both those Fact Sheets for them to be both “factually correct” at the same time and on any particular issue, even if that singular truth is being furiously spun in opposite directions.

        Does that make sense?

    • yousaf says:

      important quote from US official in there: “We believe that everything in our document will not need to be renegotiated”

      ….but _some_ things may?

      Also “believe” is not terribly strong language.

  15. Andreas says:

    Lavrov on Lausanne Agreement – Excerpt EN – RU:

    http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/AE34AC6B015346A843257E20003B29CD

    Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with Rossiya Segodnya, Moscow, April 6, 2015

    Question: An agreement was reached on Iran. The Europeans seem to be happy and even grateful to Russia for its constructive involvement. However, some in Russia are now saying that “it’s bad, Iran will now start selling its gas, we shot ourselves in the foot, and we are not sure what’s going on,” almost going as far as predicting Russia’s decline as a result of the Iranian agreements. How true is that?

    Sergey Lavrov: That’s a strange line of thinking that for Russia’s economy to grow, we either need our competitors to be under sanctions or have someone bomb them, like America wanted to bomb Iran. Probably, this is what people who don’t believe Russia can get off of the oil and gas “needle” are thinking. That’s the goal set by the Russian President, though. The Government has been given the instructions. That goal remains our priority.

    With regard to the oil and gas market, first, Iranian oil and gas have always been present on the market. As you may be aware, there are no international sanctions by the UN Security Council with regard to Iran’s oil and gas. Oil and gas in that country are the subject of illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and some of their allies like Australia. However, there are exceptions to these sanctions. China, India, and several other countries, including Japan, if my memory serves me right, have reached “amicable” agreements with the United States to the effect that they will continue to buy the amounts of oil from Iran that they used to buy from it, but will refrain from buying more.

    As a matter of fact, Iranian oil has always been on the market. According to experts, Iranian worldwide oil exports may grow insignificantly in the near future. Iranian gas has never come under any harsh sanctions. For many years, Iranian gas has been sent to Turkey, among other countries. Every winter, and our experts have noted this, there are disruptions in distribution, and the Turks ask us to compensate for the missing Iranian gas. I believe that those who view the current agreements on Iran in terms of money alone underestimate the actual state of the hydrocarbon markets and most importantly, are unable to get over a utilitarian approach: “How is that possible at all? Russia’s interests will be hurt if the sanctions on Iran are lifted.” On the contrary, when it comes to purely economic interests, we have established a very solid cooperation base with Iran over the years.

    Last year, we signed a large package of documents, which make our cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy and the construction of several nuclear power plants in Iran in Bushehr and another new site, a long-term and a highly lucrative endeavour. Will this benefit both sides? Absolutely. Iran will get guaranteed amounts of electricity, regardless of what happens to its oil and gas reserves. They are looking far ahead, and don’t want to squander their natural wealth, and we are there to help them do so. Rosatom signed lucrative contracts with Iran. Of course, lifting the economic and financial sanctions on Iran will allow them to pay Rosatom in full and, accordingly, billions will go to the Russian budget.

    People should look at the big picture and not worry so much. We have much in common with Iran. It’s our long-standing neighbour that we have many common interests with in bilateral relations in the Caspian Sea, fighting terrorism, and preventing the Sunni-Shiite rift in the Islamic world. No one has to worry that our neighbour, a friendly nation is getting free from the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council and the illegal unilateral restrictions imposed by the United States and the European Union.

    Question: You have agreed that Iran can develop nuclear power under IAEA supervision. But some things are easily verifiable, while others, such as the nuclear component, can be interpreted very broadly. Is this the final agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, or do you fear delays with the signing of the agreement by June 30?

    Sergey Lavrov: It’s very important to see the difference between what we – Russia – agreed to with Iran concerning civilian nuclear programmes and everything else. Neither the first unit of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, nor the other units to be built there or a nuclear power plant that will be built elsewhere in Iran, on which agreements and contracts have been signed, are subject to the UN Security Council restrictions. And neither are our plans and ongoing construction projects subject to the unilateral US and EU limitations. In the process of negotiations, Russian-Iranian bilateral cooperation on civilian nuclear projects has been reliably moved beyond the framework of any restrictions, both legitimate international and illegitimate unilateral ones. Anyway, nuclear power plants are to be built under IAEA supervision. This goes for Iran, for the projects that are underway in Turkey and in Europe and also for our future projects in Vietnam. There are certain IAEA standards for the construction of nuclear power facilities. But these facilities are not subject to any sanctions.

    As for the proposed restrictions on Iran’s activity without our involvement, which our Western partners would like to make more transparent, we believe that this had to be done. There were serious suspicions and we needed to dispel them and to see the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. Again, this concerns the projects that Iran was implementing independently. It had several facilities where it was enriching uranium and was building a heavy water reactor capable of producing weapons-grade plutonium. This certainly was a cause for our concern.

    The agreement we have reached limits the number of centrifuges Iran can have and stipulates a single uranium enrichment site, while the Fordow facility, where a certain number of centrifuges will be retained, must be used exclusively for research purposes such as the production of medical isotopes, and so it will not be enrichment on an industrial scale. The third facility – a heavy water reactor – will be converted to preclude the production of weapons-grade plutonium and hence any threat of nuclear technology proliferation. At the same time, Iran has agreed, in principle, to the entire range of IAEA verification procedures including the Additional Protocol and the so-called modified codes, stipulating access to all these facilities, full-scale cooperation and complete transparency. In return, the UN Security Council sanctions and the unilateral restrictions imposed on Iran by some Western countries will be lifted.

    The key parameters of this deal were coordinated rather quickly, in the final week of the negotiations in Lausanne. The issues that were coordinated later, when I returned to Lausanne, were included in the document that is currently considered the only official result of this round of talks, which EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif presented in their joint statement. This could have been done at the beginning of that final week, but we encountered a problem.

    Since many people have asked about this, I’d like to use this opportunity to disclose some reasons for the delay. As we agreed in November 2013, when we discussed the procedure for these talks, the final package of comprehensive agreements should be ready by June 30, 2015. An additional goal set for the end of March was to reach an agreement on the component parts of this package: restricting the number of centrifuges, limiting enrichment to one facility and leaving the other facility exclusively for research, and converting the third facility, a heavy water reactor, to preclude the production of weapons-grade plutonium. In addition, there should be very strict IAEA verification measures for the entire range of facilities, in return for lifting the sanctions. All sides agreed on that.

    I don’t think I am disclosing a secret if I say that our American and European partners wanted to specify, in addition to these fundamental components of the package, the parameters on which they personally needed Iran to agree before the June deadline. We were ready to do this too, because, after all, the further we advanced in terms of concrete figures and volumes, the better it would have been. But the Iranians responded that this concrete approach should be also applied to the sanctions: When will they be lifted and in what amount, and what is the guarantee against possible deception? Our Western partners were not ready for this, but they nevertheless spent several more days trying to unilaterally specify the required provisions and doing their best to avoid the specification of issues requested by Iran, and taxing the patience of the other negotiators and journalists in the process. This explains the delay.

    Decisions on the issues of importance to us, including the removal of Russian-Iranian nuclear cooperation from the agenda of the P5+1 talks with Iran, were reached at an early stage of the final week. …..

    ————————

    http://www.mid.ru/brp_4.nsf/0/6892C257C1C9F8BD43257E1F006C6D72

    Интервью Министра иностранных дел России С.В.Лаврова МИА «Россия сегодня», Москва, 6 апреля 2015 года

    656-06-04-2015

    Вопрос: По Ирану договорились. Европейцы, похоже, даже счастливы и благодарны России за позитивное участие. Но в России уже говорят, что «все плохо, теперь Иран будет продавать газ, мы сами себе выстрелили в ногу, ничего не понимаем, что происходит», предрекая в общем чуть ли не закат России в результате этих договоренностей с Ираном. Насколько это так?

    С.В.Лавров: Странная логика получается: в интересах развития экономики России нужно либо наших конкурентов держать под санкциями, либо чтобы их кто-нибудь разбомбил, как Америка хотела бомбить Иран. Это, наверное, позиция людей, которые не верят, что страна может слезть с нефтяной и газовой «игл». Такую задачу поставил Президент России, Правительство имеет все необходимые поручения. Её никто не отменял, и она остается приоритетной.

    Что касается конкретно состояния рынка газа и нефти. Во-первых, иранские газ и нефть никогда с рынка не исчезали. Напомню, что никаких международных санкций Совета Безопасности ООН в отношении нефти и газа Ирана не существует. Нефть и газ этой страны являются объектом односторонних незаконных санкций, которые ввели Соединенные Штаты, Евросоюз и некоторые их союзники типа Австралии. Но даже в отношении этих санкций, запрещающих покупать иранскую нефть, были сделаны исключения. Те же китайцы, индийцы, ряд других стран, если не ошибаюсь Япония, «полюбовно» договаривались с Америкой, что они будут продолжать покупать у Ирана определенные объемы, соответствующие прошлым закупкам, но не будут их наращивать.

    По большому счету, иранская нефть никогда с рынка не уходила. Как говорят эксперты, ее увеличение, по крайней мере, на весьма обозримую перспективу на мировых рынках возможно в незначительных объемах. Против иранского газа каких-либо жестких мер не принималось. Многие годы иранский газ поставляется, в частности, в Турцию. Каждую зиму, и наши эксперты об этом говорили, случаются перебои, турки обращаются с просьбой возместить недополученные объемы иранского газа. Те, кто так меркантильно подходят к достигнутым на данном этапе решениям по Ирану, по-моему, недооценивают как фактическое состояние на рынках углеводородов, так и, самое главное, не могут «приподняться» над утилитарным подходом: «Как же так, Россию обидит то, что Иран выйдет из-под санкций?». Наоборот, если говорить о чисто экономических интересах, за эти годы у нас с Ираном сложилась очень прочная база сотрудничества.

    В прошлом году был подписан масштабный пакет документов, который ставит наше сотрудничество в сфере мирного использования ядерной энергии и строительства большого количества блоков АЭС в Иране как на площадке Бушер, так и на новой площадке, на долгосрочную весьма выгодную основу. Будет эта ли выгода взаимной? Безусловно! Иран получит гарантированные объемы электроэнергии, независимо от того, что произойдет с запасами нефти и газа. Эта страна смотрит далеко вперед, не хочет разбазаривать свое природное богатство, и мы ему в этом помогаем. Росатом получил выгоднейшие контракты. Конечно, снятие экономических и финансовых санкций с Ирана позволит ему по полной расплатиться с Росатомом, а, соответственно, в наш бюджет пойдут миллиардные платежи.

    Не надо смотреть узко на происходящее и так уж переживать. У нас много общего с Ираном. Это наш очень давний сосед, страна, с которой у нас огромное количество общих интересов в двусторонних отношениях, на Каспии, в борьбе с терроризмом, в том, что касается недопущения суннитско-шиитского разлома в исламском мире. Не надо переживать по поводу того, что наш сосед, дружественная нам страна выйдет из-под гнета как санкций Совета Безопасности ООН, так и незаконных, односторонне принятых Соединенными Штатами и Евросоюзом рестрикций.

    Вопрос: Вы договорились о развитии иранской атомной энергетики под контролем МАГАТЭ. Там есть пункты, легко проверяемые, а есть позиции типа ядерного компонента, которые можно толковать достаточно произвольно. Все-таки насколько окончательно договорились по ИЯП, и не будет ли затяжек с подписанием соглашения до 30 июня?

    С.В.Лавров: Очень важно проводить различия между тем, о чем мы – Россия – договорились с Ираном по мирному атому, и всем остальным. Ни первый блок АЭС в Бушере, ни все остальные блоки, которые будут там сооружаться, ни атомная электростанция на другой площадке в Иране, о чем уже подписаны соглашения, контракты и так далее, никоим образом не подпадают под ограничения, которые ввел Совет Безопасности ООН. Не подпадают наши планы и уже ведущееся строительство ни под какие-либо односторонние ограничения Соединенных Штатов и Евросоюза. На протяжении всей переговорной работы наше двустороннее сотрудничество с Ираном по мирному атому было надежно выведено за рамки любых репрессалий как международных, легитимных, так и односторонних незаконных. В любом случае, при строительстве атомных электростанций предполагается контроль МАГАТЭ. Это верно для Ирана и для того, что мы делаем в Турции, европейских странах, что будем делать во Вьетнаме. Есть стандарты МАГАТЭ, которые применяются при строительстве объектов атомной энергетики. Но эти объекты не находятся ни под какими санкциями.

    Теперь что касается обсуждения рестрикций, введенных на собственную деятельность Ирана без нашего участия, которую наши западные партнеры как раз хотели сделать более транспарентной. Мы уверены, что это обязательно нужно было сделать: были достаточно серьезные подозрения, их важно было развеять и убедиться в исключительно мирном характере иранской ядерной программы. Повторю, это касается именно того, что иранцы делали сами. У них были несколько точек, где они занимались обогащением урана, строили реактор на тяжелой воде, который может и производит оружейный плутоний. Это все, конечно же, вызывало обеспокоенность.

    Достигнутая договоренность предполагает ограничение количества центрифуг, обогащение будет осуществляться только на одном объекте, другой подземный объект Фордо также сохранит определенное количество центрифуг, но будет работать исключительно в научных целях (производство медицинских изотопов и т.д.) – не будет обогащения в промышленном смысле этого слова. Третий объект – реактор на тяжелой воде – будет реконфигурирован таким образом, чтобы он не мог производить оружейный плутоний и не представлял собой каких-либо угроз с точки зрения распространения ядерных технологий. Параллельно иранцы в принципе дали добро на применение к их программам всего спектра мер проверки со стороны МАГАТЭ – это дополнительный протокол и документы (так называемые «модифицированные коды»), что предполагает доступ ко всем этим объектам и полное сотрудничество со стороны, полную транспарентность. За это будут сняты санкции Совета Безопасности ООН и односторонние санкции отдельных государств западного лагеря.

    Ключевые компоненты этой сделки были согласованы достаточно рано, на завершающей финишной неделе, которая прошла в Лозанне. То, что было согласовано, когда я второй раз приезжал в Лозанну, вошло в документ, на данный момент являющийся единственным официальным итогом прошедшего этапа переговоров, которые зачитали Высокий представитель Евросоюза Ф.Могерини и Министр иностранных дел Ирана М.Дж.Зариф. Это можно было сделать на ранней стадии той завершающей недели, но возникла задержка.

    Поскольку многие задают вопросы, хотел бы воспользоваться интервью и немного подраскрыть причины этой задержки. Как условились в ноябре 2013 года, когда договаривались, как работать над этой проблемой, окончательный пакет всеобъемлющих договоренностей должен быть готов к 30 июня 2015 г. До конца марта с.г. была факультативная цель достичь понимания о том, какие компоненты будут у этого пакета: ограничение количества центрифуг, концентрация обогатительных работ только на одном объекте, второй объект – только научные исследования, третий объект реконфигурируется таким образом, чтобы он не был реактором на тяжелой воде, не производил плутоний. В дополнение к этому будут очень жесткие контрольные меры МАГАТЭ по всему спектру имеющихся практик, а в обмен – сняты санкции. Это все зафиксировали.

    Думаю, большого секрета не раскрою, но наши американские и европейские коллеги хотели в дополнение к этим принципиальным компонентам пакета расшифровать те его части, которые прежде всего им были нужны, чтобы зафиксировать Иран на каких-то нужных им позициях, не дожидаясь конца июня. Мы тоже были к этому готовы, потому что, в конце концов, чем дальше мы продвинемся в плане конкретных цифр, конкретных объемов, тем лучше. Но в ответ иранцы сказали – давайте будем столь же конкретны в отношении снятий санкций: когда, в каком объеме, каковы гарантии, что вы нас не обманете. И тут наши западные партнеры оказались не готовы, но все равно пытались еще несколько дней «выматывать душу» из переговорщиков и журналистов, стараясь в одностороннем порядке детализировать нужное им и всячески уйти от детализации того, что просил Иран. Собственно в этом и была причина задержки.

    Все важные для нас компоненты, включая полное изъятие российско-иранского ядерного сотрудничества из-под процессов, идущих в рамках «шестерки», мы достигли на очень раннем этапе той переговорной недели. …

    • yousaf says:

      Interesting…”illegal” — “Oil and gas in that country are the subject of illegal unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union and some of their allies like Australia.”

      • Cyrus says:

        Even more illegal are secondary sanctions that the US imposes on companies from other third countries that do business with Iran

        When the Arabs tried to impose secondary sanctions on companies that dis business with Israel in the 70’s, the US accused them of trying to “impose on sovereignty” of nations. The US passed its own laws that prohibited American companies abiding by the Arab sanctions, and the WTO adopted rules prohibiting secondary sanctions.

        But now the US is doing the same thing with Iran.

        While Iran is not a member of the WTO, the other countries whose businesses are blocked by fear of US sanctions from doing business in Iran, are themselves members of the WTO and can chose to challenge the legality of secondary sanctions on Iran if they make the political decision. Their industries will push for this.

  16. Andreas says:

    1) New Iranian Factsheet in the Pipeline

    “… The lawmaker further pointed out that the Iranian Foreign Ministry also plans to release a ***Factsheet*** about the Lausanne statement to stress the concerns of the nation and the MPs, reiterating that the release of this ***factsheet*** has been the most important news given to the MPs in today’s session.

    “This is the most important thing that we should wait for in the next few days so that those issues that have stirred serious concern among the Iranians will be revised and released in this factsheet,” he added. …”

    ——————–

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940118000331

    Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:40
    Iran to Inject Gas into IR8 on 1st Day of Implementing Final N. Deal
    TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s foreign minister and nuclear chief both told a closed-door session of the parliament on Tuesday that the country would inject UF6 gas into the latest generation of its centrifuge machines as soon as a final nuclear deal goes into effect by Tehran and the six world powers.

    Zarif and the Atomic Energy Organiation of Iran (AEOI) Chief Ali Akbar Salehi are taking part at a closed-door session at the parliament this morning to brief the legislature about the details of the latest round of the nuclear talks with the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) and the joint statement released by the seven nations in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday.

    “The AEOI chief and the foreign minister presented hopeful remarks about nuclear technology R&D which, they said, have been agreed upon during the talks (with the six world powers), and informed that gas will be injected into IR8 (centrifuge machines) with the start of the (implementation of the) agreement,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Javad Karimi Qoddousi said following the closed-door session at the legislature today.

    The lawmaker further pointed out that the Iranian Foreign Ministry also plans to release a Factsheet about the Lausanne statement to stress the concerns of the nation and the MPs, reiterating that the release of this factsheet has been the most important news given to the MPs in today’s session.

    “This is the most important thing that we should wait for in the next few days so that those issues that have stirred serious concern among the Iranians will be revised and released in this factsheet,” he added.

    According to another MP Gholam-Ali Jafarzade who was also present in the parliament’s closed-door session today, the Iranian nuclear chief, Salehi, has briefed the lawmakers on the latest conditions of Iran’s atomic plants and the country’s latest achievements in the nuclear sector during the closed-door session today.

    “Salehi also portrayed an image of Iran’s nuclear situation and position on the global scene,” he added.

    Iran and the G5+1 started their new round of talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, last week to narrow their differences over Tehran’s nuclear energy program ahead of a July 1 deadline.

    After nine days of hard work, the seven nations reached an understanding on Thursday which laid the ground for them to start drafting the final nuclear deal.

    —————-

    2) When will the sanctions be lifted?
    Synopsis of EN/FA “stipulations” acc. to the joint statement

    EN:

    http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/150402_03_en.htm

    JOINT STATEMENT
    Joint Statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Switzerland
    02/04/2015
    ….
    The EU will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions and the US will cease the application of all nuclear-related secondary economic and financial sanctions, simultaneously with the IAEA-verified implementation by Iran of its key nuclear commitments.

    A new UN Security Council Resolution will endorse the JCPOA, terminate all previous nuclear-related resolutions and incorporate certain restrictive measures for a mutually agreed period of time.

    FA:

    http://mfa.ir/index.aspx?fkeyid=&siteid=1&pageid=128&newsview=334322

    بیانیه مشترک وزیر امور خارجه جمهوری اسلامی ایران و نماینده عالی اتحادیه اروپا
    بیانیه مشترک
    وزیر امور خارجه جمهوری اسلامی ایران آقای محمد جواد ظریف
    و نماینده عالی اتحادیه اروپا خانم فدریکا موگرینی
    سوییس، 13 فروردین 1394
    ….
    اتحادیه اروپایی، اعمال تحریم های اقتصادی و مالی مرتبط با هسته ای خود را خاتمه خواهد داد و ایالات متحده نیز اجرای تحریم های مالی و اقتصادی ثانویه مرتبط با هسته ای را، همزمان با اجرای تعهدات عمده هسته ای ایران به نحوی که توسط آژانس بین المللی انرژی اتمی راستی آزمایی شود، متوقف خواهد کرد.

    یک قطعنامه جدید شورای امنیت سازمان ملل متحد صادر خواهد شد که در آن برجام تائید شده، کلیه قطعنامه های قبلی مرتبط با موضوع هسته ای لغو خواهد گردید و برخی تدابیر محدودیت ساز مشخص، را برای یک دوره زمانی مورد توافق، لحاظ خواهد کرد

  17. Cyrus says:

    Since we see references to sanctions being lifted when Iran fulfills(?) some “key commitments” is there any indication which are key and which are not deemed key?

    • yousaf says:

      I suppose it is defined in the parentheses: “All past UN Security Council resolutions on the Iran nuclear issue will be lifted simultaneous with the completion, by Iran, of nuclear-related actions addressing all key concerns (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency).”

      For why PMD ought not be there see my piece in the Hill above

    • Andreas says:

      @ Cyrus @ Yousaf

      No, there are no such references and/or indications whatsoever.

      Maybe in any fictional reporting but definitely not in the ONLY authoritative text basis we’ve got on our hands:
      The joint statement by Signora Mogherini and Aghaye Zarif.

      Nevertheless, in the public there’s a tendency to rely on the concocted US factsheet and to read the mention of “addressing all ***key concerns (enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency)***” in the sense of agreed upon “key commitments”.

      However, let’s look at

      http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2015/150402_03_en.htm

      “… The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be permitted the use of modern technologies and will have enhanced access through agreed procedures, including *** to clarify past and present issues.*** …”

      +

      http://mfa.ir/index.aspx?fkeyid=&siteid=1&pageid=128&newsview=334322

      “…

      آژانس بین المللی انرژی اتمی از فن آوری های مدرن نظارتی استفاده خواهد کرد و از دسترسی های توافق شده بیشتری از جمله به منظور*** روشن کردن موضوعات گذشته و حال*** برخوردار خواهد شد.”

      1) In the joint statement there’s no such parenthesis with its enumeration of monsters (“enrichment, Fordow, Arak, PMD, and transparency”).

      Especially: The PMD complex is not mentioned here, at all.

      2) In the joint statement there’s no definition of EN “past” (issues), FA “gozashte”.

      3) In EN there’s the ambiguity of the terminus “issues” = a) topic/theme(s) b) problem(s).

      While in FA we have a clear-cut “mouzu’aat” which – unless being expressedly defined otherwise – only means “subject(s) of discussion/topic” and not per se “problem(s)” (mas’ele).

      • Cyrus says:

        Andreas I think you’re getting Talmudic in the level of analysis, which is natural considering the dearth of reliable primary material to go on so I guess trying to split hairs is the only option.

        However I have to really conclude that this is merely an agreement to agree, its legal implications are hard to discern since there are so many undefined factors (and whose paying attention to the law anyway) but it does have a far more significant impact by implication, that the US is giving up regime-change agenda under the “Iranian nuclear threat” pretext. At least for now. At least that particular pretext. Maybe.

      • Andreas says:

        @ Cyrus
        (Unfortunately I can’t comment directly below your contribution)

        “Andreas I think you’re getting Talmudic in the level of analysis, which is natural considering the dearth of reliable primary material to go on so I guess trying to split hairs is the only option.”

        😉

        Cyrus, hoping that I haven’t inadvertently split some of your golden hairs I’d like to assure you that I was animated by totally other than Talmudic intentions:

        “DEFINISSEZ les termes, vous dis-je, ou jamais nous ne nous entendrons.
        = DEFINE your terms, I tell you, or we shall never understand each other.”

        Voltaire

        Thus, it’s very simply only about establishing sound and reliable text bases and identifying the meaning of words and propositions in their proper contexts lest we get lost in the shifting semantic sands of equivocations and imprecise wordings, *** distorting translations ***, rhetoric trickery, the vortexes of connotations as well as the skilfull exploitation of logical fallacies by disinformation/propaganda agents and/or the mainstream media and/or PSYOPs.

        In applying that to translation critique and text analysis I’m not guided by anything Talmudic but by forensic linguistics.

        “However I have to really conclude that this is merely an agreement to agree, its legal implications are hard to discern since there are so many undefined factors (and whose paying attention to the law anyway) but it does have a far more significant impact by implication, that the US is giving up regime-change agenda under the “Iranian nuclear threat” pretext. At least for now. At least that particular pretext. Maybe.”

        One can only hope so. But this could easily give way to another scenario:

        Maybe you remember Brzezinski having advocated drawing Iran into the Western, i.e. US dominated, orbit only to be able to deploy the country against Russia … and China.

        On another level of analysis there are other forces discernible:


        President Putin about Iran, Russia and Zoroastrianism

        31 October 2007

        Putin: “I don’t consider myself a specialist of Persian literature, which I
        regret, because everything I hear or learn is very interesting despite
        being fragmented. This also concerns the history of Iran, a part of
        world history. Iran is initially a world power that spread from the
        near East to India, and even included some parts of the former Soviet
        republics.
        Iran is a country of protoreligion, Zoroastrianism. Some specialist
        consider it an eventual source of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.
        But according to some studies, Zoroastrianism was born on Russia’s
        territory, in the south Urals. And followers of this great religion
        ended up on the territory of Iran after a great migration. This is to
        say that the histories of our two countries and the roots of their
        cultural exchange are much deeper than can be imagined at first. That
        gives security that our two countries will always be able to
        communicate on any problem, since we understand one another.”

  18. Nick says:

    The most important technical issue left to be decided is how the R&D will proceed.

    If Dr. Salehi and his AEOI team screw this up, they will be left with a 70 year old centrifuge design that is only good for a symbolic enrichment capability, namely the current IR1 in Natanz.

    The US fact sheet is not very clear on this issue. We just have to wait and see. If Natnaz is the only place for enrichment with IR1s, then this means none of the later model centrifuges will have the opportunity to be tested with fuel for at least 10 years as individual units, let alone as a cascade. By the time they can be tested in 2025, if at all, they will be obsolete anyway, as far as SWU is concerned.

    The argument would be made, rightfully so, that it is not economically prudent to use even these newer models in 10 years anyway. By then much more advanced designs (laser etc.) could be in place, making any attempt by Iran to proceed with its IR2m and later models to be only for bomb making “break out.”

  19. Andreas says:

    1)

    http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/247629-iran-agreement-nuclear-program/

    Iran: The deal
    April 08, 2015 10:30

    An historic agreement that could trigger a geopolitical realignment in the Middle East. There is no final agreement yet between the P5+1 countries and Iran regarding its nuclear program – but what we do know gives reason to be cautiously optimistic. Can the parties of war still prevail over hopes for peace?
    CrossTalking with Mohammad Marandi, Fred Fleitz, and Massoumeh Torfeh.

    ————————–

    2)

    http://de.scribd.com/doc/261031719/The-Iran-Project-Statement-on-the-Announcement-of-a-Framework-for-a-Comprehensive-Nuclear-Agreement-with-Iran

    The Iran Project Statement on the Announcement of a Framework for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran

    Veröffentlicht vonThe Iran Project
    A Bipartisan Group of More Than 50 Former Foreign Policy and Military Leaders Applaud Progress with Iran, Outline Continuing Concerns, and Urge Congress to Refrain from Impeding Negotiations of a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran.
    See more

    The Iran Project Statement on the Announcement ofa Framework for a Comprehensive Nuclear Agreement with Iran
    April 6, 2015 We welcome the announcement that the U.S. government and other major worldpowers have reached a framework accord to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. This achievement is the result of the sustained effort of the Foreign Ministers ofseven governments spanning nearly 18 months, to put in place a set of constraints and
    inspections that would limit Iran’s nuclear program to
    peaceful purposes. While technical details are still to be fully resolved, important U.S. objectives havebeen achieved:

    uranium enrichment only at the Natanz plant and no enrichment at theunderground facility at Fordow;

    prohibition of the Arak heavy water research reactor from producing weaponsgrade plutonium or reprocessing to recover plutonium from spent fuel;

    a reduction and then a limit on Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium to 300 KG
    for 15 years; broad and sweeping inspections and other constraints;

    a two-thirds reduction in installed centrifuges for ten years; a range oflimitations and inspections that will be in force over a 10-25 year period andsome permanent inspections of the program. We recognize that full evaluation must await a final comprehensive agreement.Important, difficult, and ambiguous issues still remain. Their resolution will be key tothe solidity of the final agreement and its support in this country. They include:

    what means will be used to limit the stockpile of Iran’
    s enriched uranium to300 Kg of LEU for 15 years;

    how the existing UNSC resolutions sanctioning Iran will be replaced by aresolution or resolutions that creates an approved procurement channel andplaces restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles;

    what will be the set of measures that will address the IAEA’s concernsregarding the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s program;

    what scale of uranium enrichment will be possible for Iran after ten years;

    the unfreezing of Iran’s nuclear program and the rapid ramping up of Iranian nuclearcapacity. Such a situation could enhance the possibility of war.Finally, we hope that the Administration will place the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
    Action in a strategic context by assuring America’s partners, especially Israel, Saudi
    Arabia and other Gulf States, that the U.S. remains strongly committed to theirsecurity and that it will continue to take a firm stance against threatening Iranianactions in the region. We will continue to work with others

    skeptics and supporters alike

    to support abalanced, objective, and bipartisan approach to preventing Iran from acquiring anuclear weapon

    one that enhances U.S. national security and that of our friendsand allies of the region.Madeleine Albright,
    fmr Sec State

    Graham AllisonMichael Armacost, AmbSamuel R. Berger,
    fmr NSA
    Zbigniew Brzezinski,
    fmr NSA
    Nicholas Burns, Amb James Cartwright, GenStephen Cheney, BrigGen Joseph CirincioneChester A. CrockerRyan C. Crocker, AmbSuzanne DiMaggio James Dobbins, AmbRobert Einhorn William J. Fallon, AdmMichèle FlournoyLeslie H. Gelb William Harrop, AmbStephen B. HeintzCarla A. Hills James HogeNancy L. Kassebaum, SenFrank Kearney, LTGDaniel C. Kurtzer, AmbCarl Levin, Sen Winston Lord, Amb William Luers, AmbRichard Lugar, Sen Jessica T. Mathews William G. Miller, AmbRichard Murphy, Amb Vali Nasr Joseph NyeEric Olson, AdmiralGeorge Perkovich Thomas R. Pickering, AmbPaul R. PillarNicholas Platt, Amb Joe R. Reeder William A. Reinsch J. Stapelton Roy, AmbBarnett RubinGary SamoreBrent Scowcroft,
    fmr NSA
    Joe Sestak, RADMGary Sick Jim Slattery, Congressman Anne-Marie Slaughter James Stavridis, Adm James WalshLawrence B. Wilkerson, Col Timothy E. Wirth, SenFrank G. Wisner, Amb Anthony C. Zinni, Gen

    • Cyrus says:

      You just gotta laugh. I mean, COME ON!

      “prohibition of the Arak heavy water research reactor from producing weapons grade plutonium”

      How on earth can Iran “prohibit” a reactor from “producing” plutonium (all plutonium is already “weapons grade”, btw.) All reactors produce plutonium. It is just chemistry. None of it is useful for nukes unless fuel rods are reprocessed. And Iran already offered to forego reprocessing years ago (though it is under no obligation to do so under the NPT)

  20. yousaf says:

    “U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist and negotiator with Iran, estimated it would take six months after a final deal is signed for the sanctions to be lifted.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/09/politics/iran-nuclear-bill/index.html

    hmmmm…PMD resolved in 6 months…when the IAEA has been incapable of resolving it for decade+

    • Cyrus says:

      They ve only been “incapable” by choice. Note how easily all the other, adequately-documented issues were resolved pursuant to the Iran IAEA 2008-09 agreement on “Modalities”. The whole reason the Alleged Studies were only then made partially available to the IAEA was to prevent the closing of the files as there were supposed to be “no other outstan ding issues.” But naturaly the goal posts were moved, and Iran was put into the position of being expected to disprove allegations it (and the IAEA) was not allowed to see in full. So, how the Alleged Studies PMD issue is allowed to be resolved, or whether it is allowed to be resolved, will be a major test of sincerity. Iran has already abided by its suspension for a while now.

    • Andreas says:

      Meanwhile in Iran – what a charming match RE 6 months.



      تحریمها باید یکجا و همان روز توافق لغو شود نه 6 ماه و یکسال بعد. اگر قرار باشد لغو‫#‏تحریم‬ به فرآیند دیگری گره بخورد، چرا اصلا مذاکره کردیم؟

      Kh.’s facebook has this translation:
      “… All sanctions should be removed just when the deal is reached. If sanctions removal depends on another process then why we started to talk?…”

      Obviously, a case of “lost in translation” – something went missing.
      Complete transl.:
      “… (the) sanctions must be lifted in a lump and on the selfsame day of the contract/(or:) contracting,
      *** NOT after 6 months or one year ***.
      If sanctions removal depends on another process then why we started to talk?…”

      ——————–

      تحریمها باید یکجا و همان روز توافق لغو شود
      Ayatollah Khamenei in a meeting with panegyrists:
      On outcome of recent talks, I’m neither for nor against it; according to officials, yet no measure has been taken and there’s no binding results.
      It’s all about the details. The disloyal side may want to stab ‪#‎Iran‬ in the back over the details; It is too early to congratulate.
      What’s been done so far secures neither the main deal nor its contents nor is it even clear whether talks will bear fruit and lead to a deal.
      I support the negotiators and agree with a deal which ensures nation’s interests but no deal is favorable to a deal against Iran interests and dignity.
      I trust our negotiators but I’m really worried as the other side is into lying and breaching promises; an example was White House fact sheet.
      Hours after the talks, Americans offered a fact sheet that most of it was contrary to what was agreed. They always deceive and breach promises.
      All sanctions should be removed just when the deal is reached. If sanctions removal depends on another process then why we started to talk?
      Islam and reason forbid us from acquiring nukes but nuclear industry is a necessity for country’s future in energy, medicine, agriculture,etc.
      An underdeveloped country said that if Iran has enrichment then I want it too! Do it if you can! ‪#‎Nuclear‬ technology is our domestic capability.
      No unconventional inspection that’d place Iran under special monitoring is acceptable. Foreign monitoring on Iran’s security isn’t allowed.
      We negotiate with US only over nuclear issue; if they stopped their usual deceitfulness, then it’d become possible to talk over other issues.
      درباره نتیجه ‫#‏مذاکرات‬ اخیر،نه موافقم و نه مخالف. چرا که به گفته مسئولین، هنوز اقدامی انجام نشده و به نتیجه الزام آوری دست نیافته اند.
      همه چیز در جزئیات است. ممکن است طرف بدعهد مقابل، در جزئیات از پشت به ‫#‏ایران‬ خنجر بزند/ اینکه حالا به بنده و دیگران تبریک میگویند، بی معنیست.
      آنچه تاکنون انجام شده نه اصل توافق و محتوای آن را تضمین میکند، نه حتی معلوم است که مذاکرات به آخر برسد و به توافق منجر شود.
      بنده درجزئیات مذاکرات دخالتی نکردم ونمیکنم/ من خطوط کلی و خط قرمزها را میگویم. اینکه بگویند جزئیات این مسئله در اختیار رهبری است درست نیست.
      کاملا به مذاکره کنندگانمان اعتماد دارم لکن جداً دغدغه دارم، چون طرف مقابل بشدت اهل دروغ و نقض عهد است/یک نمونه آن در فکت شیت کاخ سفید رخ داد.
      بعد از چند ساعت از مذاکرات، طرف آمریکایی فکت شیتی ارائه کرد که اغلب مواردش خلاف توافق و غلط بود. آنها همواره در حال فریب و نقض عهد هستند.
      برای موافقت و مخالفت، عجله نباید کرد. در مورد دستاوردها هم مبالغه نباید کرد. مسئولین باید جزئیات مذاکرات را به مردم ارائه دهند.
      مسئولین از افراد شاخص مخالف دعوت کنند. شاید به نکات راهگشا برسند. این باعث ‫#‏همدلی‬ است. عقب انداختن مذاکرات درصورت حصول نتایج بهتر، بد نیست.
      تحریمها باید یکجا و همان روز توافق لغو شود نه 6 ماه و یکسال بعد. اگر قرار باشد لغو ‫#‏تحریم‬ به فرآیند دیگری گره بخورد، چرا اصلا مذاکره کردیم؟
      هیچ شیوه نظارتی غیرمتعارف که ایران را تحت نظارتی اختصاصی قرار دهد، مورد قبول نیست. به هیچ وجه اجازه ورود به حریم امنیتی و نظامی وجود ندارد.
      فتوای شرعی و عقلی، ما را از دستیابی به سلاح هسته ای منع میکند اما صنعت هسته‌ای ضرورتی برای آینده کشور در بحث انرژی، دارو،کشاورزی و غیره است.
      غیر از مسائل هسته‌ای با آمریكا مذاکره ای نداریم/ اگر از كج‌تابیهای معمول دست برداشتند، درموارد دیگر میشود مذاكره كرد.و الا صحت تجربه ما ثابت میشود.

  21. Cyrus says:

    Oh, Andreas I think we both know enough about the world to know that words have no inherent meaning other than what is assigned to them, so the quest for objectively determining their meaning depends on determining first the intentions and narratives behind them, which in this case is by now so contradictory as to be indecipherable. 😊


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