Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Deal in the making?   

Gulf Today - 21 April, 2012
Author: P.V Vivekanand

Something is happening behind the scenes in the effort to persuade Iran to call off its 20 per cent nuclear enrichment plan. Some commentators in the US seem to have inside information that an impending deal with Iran over its nuclear programme and the ongoing diplomatic exchanges over the issue are choreographed.

In a Washington Post column, David Ignatius asserts that “the basic framework (for an agreement) was set weeks ago” under which “Iran would agree to stop enriching uranium to the 20 per cent level and to halt work at an underground facility near Qom built for higher enrichment. Iran would export its stockpile of highly enriched uranium for final processing to 20 per cent, for use in medical isotopes.”

In return, the US will ease the sanctions imposed on Iran and allow it to continue enriching uranium 3.5 per cent to five per cent.

This was a US proposal that was conveyed to Tehran “weeks before” Iran and the “P5+1” — the United States, Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany — met in Istanbul on April 14. Israeli reports had spoken of a “secret channel” between Washington and Tehran. That “secret back channel,” it appears, ran through European foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton to the chief Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili.

Ashton and Jalili had an exchange of letters, with the EU foreign policy chief proposing “a confidence-building exercise aimed at facilitating a constructive dialogue on the basis of reciprocity and a step-by-step approach.”

Jalili is said to have responded that because the West was willing to recognise Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy, “our talks for co-operation based on step-by-step principles and reciprocity on Iran’s nuclear issue could be commenced.”

In any case, the Ashton-Jalili contacts could not be described as “secret back channel” because they are the authorised representatives of the two sides.

On April 15, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused US President Barack Obama of handing over a “freebie” to Iran and Obama rejected the assertion.

After the Istanbul meeting, Iran acted as if its nuclear rights as a signatory of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have been recognised.

“Iran is following the script,” Ignatius wrote, and will “describe their actions not as concessions to the West but as ‘confidence-building’ measures,” while “the West would describe its easing of sanctions not as a climbdown but as ‘reciprocity’.” He described public “language of these talks” an “exercise.”

On April 16, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi explained that “making 20 per cent fuel is our right,” but that “if they guarantee that they will provide us with the different levels of enriched fuel that we need, then that would be another issue.”

According to Ignatius, all these are part of a script.

The exchange between Netanyahu and Obama was aimed at ensuring that Tehran remains under pressure to follow through with the deal.

“Netanyahu played his expected role in this choreography,” by playing “a perfect rebuff – just scornful enough to keep the Iranians (and the Americans, too) worried that the Israelis might launch a military attack this summer if no real progress is made in the talks,” according to Ignatius.

Israel’s Haaretz daily reported that Netanyahu was fully briefed both before and after the Istanbul meeting on the P5+1 strategy.

Haaretz quoted an unnamed US official as saying that in the weeks prior to the Istanbul talks, “detailed discussions were held with Israel, both face to face and by telephone, on coordination of the approach to the talks.”

The head of the US delegation to the talks, Wendy Sherman, fully briefed Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, by phone several hours after the talks concluded in Turkey, said the report.

As such, Netanyahu knew exactly what was being offered to Iran. So, it fits into the “choreography” theory.

Another Washington Post columist, Fareed Zakaria, also referred to the US proposal in an April 12 column with the same details as those given by Ignatius. He argues that for the proposal to succeed Iran should make deep concessions in comprehensive inspections. According to Zakaria, the P5+1 should use a 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency report as a checklist of activities that “Iran would commit to refraining from and insist that Iran allow the IAEA unfettered access to its sites until the agency is satisfied that any such military programme has been shut down.”

“Iran would have to receive some reward for accepting such unprecedented inspections, and the obvious option would be the relaxation of sanctions, step by step, as inspections proceed unimpeded,” adds Zakaria.

What all these add up to is that a negotiated settlement of the dispute is possible although there are many uncertainties.

Two points hang in the air. Acceptance of the proposal by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini and by the Republican party in the US.

Khomenei, Zakaria notes, “has consolidated power: he has beaten back the Green movement; accommodated one key rival, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; and sidelined another, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Khamenei has also given himself room to make concessions on the nuclear programme.”

Jalili himself referred to Iran’s possible acceptance of the deal. “We made progress” in Istanbul, he said last week, adding that Khamenei’s religious edict renouncing nuclear weapons “created an opportunity for concrete steps toward disarmament and non-proliferation.” He said “the next talks should be based on confidence-building measures, which would build the confidence of Iranians.”

The second point is possible Republican opposition to making any deal with Iran. The heavily pro-Israel Republicans have been calling for military action against Iran and many of them reject the idea of having any dealings with Tehran. They are likely to pose questions and add further conditions to the proposal that Iran might not find acceptable.

If the Republicans, Zakaria writes, “demagogue any deal, or refuse to reciprocate on sanctions, there will be no deal.”

No matter how the effort for a deal turns out, the overriding factor is whether Iran could be trusted to keep its word and whether Israel will be satisfied.
 
Prevention by law, not on whims
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-30
Author : Khaled Al-Sulaiman
The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP) has made an important clarification in response to a newspaper report about its refusal to incriminate people who store porn videos on...
Segregation of the medical profession
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-30
Author : Tariq A. Al-Maeena
In a land often accused of extremes, there is bound to be a varying degree of opinions on what constitutes proper social norms. Having said that, one must understand that...
Women driving is not a complex issue
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Shafi Al-Wasaan
It is true that women driving is not a big issue and does not require all this hue and cry. But in order to prove the objectivity of our stand...
PMU, Hezbollah and the Iranian design
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Diana Mukkaled
It is no coincidence that there are strong parallels between Iraq's People's Mobilization Units (PMU) and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia....
As Aleppo's fall looms, Syria dynamics shift for Trump
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Joyce Karam
With its forces closing in on opposition-held areas in East Aleppo, capturing 40 percent of the country’s largest city, the Syrian regime is eying a significant victory that could turn...
The Iranian 'maritime police' project
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-29
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Experienced in fighting proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, the Iranian leadership is aware of the important role the military plays in imposing Tehran's foreign policy in the...
Sectarian mix a problem
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Michael Jansen
The simultaneous campaigns against Daesh in eastern Aleppo and Mosul adhere to the same pattern. The attacking forces surround the two cities, cut them off from reinforcements and supplies and...
Middle East and Donald Trump!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Hussein Shobokshi
Now that the dust has settled, the world is coming to terms with the shocking outcome of the US presidential elections. There is readiness to accept the victory of Donald...
Trump's Syria problem
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Andrew Bowen
Constant bombardment and decimation of Aleppo is a stark reminder of the horrors of Sarajevo. While Secretary Clinton was expected to take a harder line on Moscow, Tehran and Damascus'...
The dangers of legitimizing 'Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi'
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-11-28
Author : Baria Alamuddin
In a measure, which moderate Sunni politicians are already describing as "the last nail in the coffin of reconciliation," the Iraqi Parliament on Nov. 26 approved a law integrating the...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Mon Dec 5, 2016| 05-ربيع أول-1438هـ
Yemen forces prepare assault on Houthis near key strait
Kuwait supports IAEA's role in achieving peaceful world
Islamic State strikes back to slow Iraqi forces in Mosul
GCC influencers urge support for Syrian refugees
Bahrain court upholds three bomb blast death sentences
A warm UAE welcome for the Saudi monarch
Larijani rails against Washington for sanctions renewal push
Inter-trade in GCC surges to $115bn
OPEC deal has potential to balance oil market
Qatar Emir to welcome King Salman; visit to 'consolidate ties'
Ties with Qatar very strong: China envoy
Brunei-Oman discuss optimisation in times of low oil prices
Carter says US military needs to remain in Iraq
GCC summit key to face challenges - Bahraini MPs
Saudi-Peruvian cooperation accord in the works
Rouhani submits $486 billion budget bill to Majlis
Assad forces tell opposition: Leave or die
  Op-Ed
Protect endangered cultural heritage
Stiffer penalties needed to make UAE roads safe
A JASTA fix
A warm UAE welcome for the Saudi monarch
More>>  
    Reports
NBK Report on oil markets
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 2Q16
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
The Benefits of NATO-GCC Strategic Ties
The GCC and the EU's New Global Strategy
For the GCC States, a different Europe to deal with
    GRC Commentary
Climate COP 22 in Marrakech Important for the Region
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities for the GCC Countries
Salalah: The Economic Development and Spatial Fragmentation of a Globalized Port City in Southern Oman
Domestic Ramifications of the JCPOA for Iran
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
A Note on Syrian Refugees in the Gulf: Attempting to Assess Data and Policies
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   37-- 37 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 37 - 37--en--sess-enreq-en-coming