Iran Nuclear Talks Resume in Vienna
by Stephen Lendman
On November 24, 2013, Iran and P5 + 1 countries agreed on Joint Plan of Action (JPA) terms. A previous article said hold the cheers. It asked if it matters.
Longstanding hardline US/Israeli policy won’t change. Anti-Iranian AIPAC pressure is relentless.
Obama twice breached JPA terms. He did so unilaterally. On February 18, talks resumed. Focus is on agreeing on a comprehensive “permanent resolution.” Prospects aren’t encouraging.
Longstanding US policy calls for regime change. Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. No evidence suggests otherwise.
It doesn’t matter. “My goal is to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” says Obama. “All options are on the table.”
On February 17, an unnamed senior administration official said Obama calls achieving a final agreement “a 50-50 proposition” at best. “(H)igh expectations” don’t exist. We’re “cautious, very cautious.”
Iranians have just cause for concern. US agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Washington doesn’t negotiate in good faith.
Promises made are broken. Obama broke every major one made. Throughout his tenure, he targeted Iran for regime change. Believing policy shifted now requires a giant leap of faith.
On Monday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said:
“What our officials started will continue. We will not renegeâ€¦But I will say again: there is no use. (Talks) will not lead anywhere.”
“Don’t try to dress up America and erase its past record of terror, violence and ugliness.”
“The nuclear issue is just hype. American officials are already raising other issues like human rights and missile threat.”
Even if a comprehensive deal is reached, “everyone must know that America’s enmity is with the core of the Islamic Revolution and with Islam.”
“The enmity will not end with the negotiations” no matter what happens ahead.
Current talks are expected to last three days. They’ll focus on how to proceed from here. According to an unnamed senior US official:
“This is the beginning of what will be a complicated, difficult and lengthy process.”
“When the stakes are this high, and the devil is truly in the details, one has to take the time to ensure the confidence of the international community in the result.”
The problem with Iran’s nuclear program is Washington. It’s Israel. Netanyahu is unrelenting.
In January, he addressed the World Economic Forum. He lied saying Arab countries “understand that Iran remains aggressive, supports terror, that it participates in the slaughter in Syria, (and) that (it’s) pursuing the development of ballistic missiles and plutonium for nuclear weapons.”
He said Rohani’s address had “no connection to what’s going on on the ground. (He) continues Iran’s deception show.”
“The goal of the Iranian ayatollahs’ regime, that hides behind Rohani’s smile, is to ease sanctions without giving up their program to produce nuclear weapons.”
He urged the international community “not to be duped.”
On February 16, he held his weekly cabinet meeting. He lied saying:
Iran “received a major easing of sanctions…(It’s) continuing its aggressive policy both” internally and externally.
It’s “execution innocent people. (I)t supports the continued killings by the Syrian regime.”
It “continu(es) to arm terrorist organizations with advanced, deadly weapons and, of course, it is continuing to call for the destruction of the State of Israel.”
“At the same time, Iran is continuing with advanced research and development of centrifuges. Iran is not prepared to concede even one centrifuge.”
“Israel’s policy is clear and is active on two tracks: First, to expose Iran’s unchanging aggressive policy. Second, to demand the dismantling of Iran’s enrichment capacity.”
Iran conceded plenty in Geneva. Much more than was warranted. It got little in return.
Its one success was getting Washington to bend modestly for the first time. Whether it’s smoke and mirrors deception remains to be seen. Smart money says so.
Netanyahu said nothing about Israel’s formidable nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It’s the elephant in the room routinely ignored.
Iran threatens no one. Israel represents a global threat. It never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In 1993, it signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It refused to ratify it. It did so for spurious reasons. It wrongfully claims it’s surrounded by hostile neighbors. Israel’s only enemies are ones it invents.
It never signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). Its policy is CBW ambiguity. It fools no one.
Netanyahu is unhinged. He’s a world class bully. He shames the office he holds. He’s an embarrassment to legitimate governance. He out-Sharon’s Sharon.
He knows Iran’s nuclear program is entirely peaceful. He knows Tehran threatens no one.
No Iranian leader ever threatened to annihilate Israel. Netanyahu’s comments turn truth on its head. Last October, he said:
“Israel will never acquiesce to nuclear arms in the hands of a rogue regime that repeatedly promises to wipe us off the map.”
“Against such a threat, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself. I want there to be no confusion on this point. Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.”
On February 17, Netanyahu addressed the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations (CPMJO) in Jerusalem.
He urged “more pressure on Iran, not less.” He lied saying Joint Plan of Action terms set Iran’s program back “four weeks. That’s what Iran has given to the world, which means it’s given practically nothing.”
“But Iran received a great deal,” he claimed. “It received the easing of sanctions. It received nations that are cuing up…to do more business with Iran.”
Netanyahu wants talks demanding “zero centrifuges and zero enrichment.” He wants Iran having no “capacity to produce a nuclear weapon.”
He claimed Tehran is developing new centrifuges “50 times better than the ones they have now.” They have missiles able to “target Europe and the US (with) a nuclear payload,” he said.
He replicates Obama. Both leaders are serial liars. Nothing they say has credibility. They know Iran poses no existential threat.
They know its nuclear program has no military component. Israel wants unchallenged regional dominance. Iran is its major rival.
It’s gaining influence at Israel’s expense. Netanyahu wants things reversed.
Malcolm Hoenlein is CPMJO executive vice chairman. His views are entirely one-sided. He calls “educating” the world about the “dangers of Iran” his top objective.
Former Senator Joe Lieberman heads a special CPMJO Iran task force. Its purpose is bashing Tehran. It’s spreading malicious propaganda.
Hoenlein lied saying “(w)e do not believe that things have changed under Rohani. He continues with the same threats, the same rhetoric.”
“There are more executions under him, human rights violations and support for terrorists, and it is outrageous that the world doesn’t challenge this.”
Israel is by far the region’s most egregious human rights violator. It threatens its neighbors. It’s waging slow-motion genocide against Palestinians.
It’s done so for over 66 years. Its policies are ruthless. Edward Said once called Palestine an isolated prison. An entire population is being suffocated out of existence.
Israel impoverishes, starves and slaughters Palestinians. It does so unaccountably. State terrorism is official policy.
Artillery, tanks, F-16s, helicopter gunships, and banned terror weapons attack defenseless civilians.
Others are assaulted, arrested, imprisoned, tortured, humiliated, and otherwise abused.
For decades, they’ve endured every imaginable indignity, degradation, and crime against humanity.
Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israel’s gulag. It’s one of the world’s worst. Treatment Israel inflicts is horrific by any standard.
Palestinians wanting to live peacefully on their own land in their own country are called terrorists. Unrelenting Israeli viciousness targets them.
An unending cycle of violence persists. Netanyahu heads Israel’s most extremist ever government. Fascists infest its Knesset.
Hoenlein supports what demands condemnation. So does Lieberman and likeminded scoundrels. They call legitimate Israeli critics anti-Semites.
They ignore longstanding Israeli high crimes doing so. They make overt threats to attack Iran. Imagine if nuclear weapons are used. Imagine the potential devastating toll.
Netanyahu wants punishing sanctions maintained. He wants new ones imposed. He wants Iran politically isolated.
He wants its economy crushed. He wants its legitimate nuclear program eliminated. He wants the right to dictate its policy.
He wants millions of Iranians grievously harmed. He wants them treated like he treats Palestinians.
He wants the Islamic Republic destroyed. Perhaps he has an Iranian holocaust in mind to do so. Don’t bet against Obama not being likeminded.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.