Sunday, November 24, 2013

P5+1 make a deal with Iran. Israel steams. Clandestine Meetings

A quick news roundup: And remember the entire world is populated by "anti-semites"..... Out to get the "eternal victims" ;-)

WP: The plan accepted by Iran on Sunday would accomplish something that U.S. governments have sought in vain for more than a decade: A pause, at least, in Iran’s inexorable march to a nuclear-weapons capability.

The historic agreement, described as a first step toward a more comprehensive nuclear deal six months from now, freezes or reverses progress in nearly every aspect of Iran’s nuclear program, from the installation of new centrifuges to work on critical components of a heavy-water reactor that could someday provide Iran with a source of plutonium.
President Obama says the U.S. has agreed to provide Iran with "modest relief" from sanctions as part of a deal on the country's nuclear program.
Kerry said the first six-month phase of the deal would improve the security of U.S. allies in the region while efforts were made to negotiate a more comprehensive agreement. (Meaning this is not over. Not, yet.) “This first step actually rolls back the program from where it is today and enlarges the breakout time,” he said.
Key details of the proposal, which had been kept confidential while the negotiations were underway, were publicly unveiled as diplomats concluded four days of intense bargaining over the final shape of the deal.
The concessions accepted by Iran include numerous curbs on the country’s uranium enrichment program, the source of most Western concerns about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions since the discovery of a partially completed enrichment plant near the city of Natanz.

Under the terms of the deal, Iran would stop installing new centrifuges, and also refrain from using the thousands of centrifuges that have been installed but are not yet enriching uranium —meaning Iran could use only about half of the roughly 18,000 centrifuges it currently possesses.

Those centrifuges would be limited to making only low-enriched uranium, of the kind used in nuclear power plants. While Iran would continue to make the nuclear fuel, its total stockpile in six months would not be allowed to grow beyond current levels. In practice, Iran would face a choice of either halting enrichment or converting its uranium into metal fuel plates.
 In a key concession, Iran agreed to halt all production of so-called 20-percent-enriched uranium, a type of fuel that can be easily converted to highly enriched uranium used in nuclear bombs. Iran’s entire stockpile of 20-percent fuel—just under 450 pounds—would have to be neutralized through conversion into metal or blending with natural uranium to reduce its purity.

A sticking point during the talks involved Iran’s continued work on a partly constructed heavy water reactor near the town of Arak. If allowed to operate, the reactor could supply Iran with a potential source of plutonium, which, like high-enriched uranium, can be used to make nuclear bombs. Under the agreement reached in Geneva, Iran would be required to halt work on building fuel rods or other components for the facility. 

 Iran’s nuclear facilities would be subject to unprecedented monitoring, with daily visits by international inspectors who also would have access to recordings by remote video equipment.

In return, Iran would receive economic incentives that would be initially modest, with the prospects of more substantial sanctions relief under the comprehensive deal to be negotiated by next spring. Western diplomats estimated the value of the relief package at about $7 billion over the six months that the interim agreement is in place.

 Iran would be given access to about $4.2 billion dollars of its foreign currency holdings, now frozen in banks overseas. Western governments also would ease restrictions affecting Iran’s trade in petrochemical products, precious metals, and airplane and automobile parts.

The short-term sanctions would be reversed if Iran fails to comply with the agreement, diplomats said.

  Israel says Iran deal makes world more dangerous

Israeli leaders denounced the interim Iranian nuclear pact signed by the United States and five world powers as an historic mistake that does little to reverse Iran’s nuclear ambitions and instead makes the world a more dangerous place. Israeli officials stressed that they would spend the next six months — the time frame for the interim agreement — seeking to push their friends and especially the White House to reach a deal with Iran that not only curbs Iran’s nuclear ambitions but dismantles their program
Odd. Israel talking historical mistakes.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed Sunday that Israel was not a party to the talks that ended with a deal in Geneva early this morning and therefore was not bound by the agreement that provides for the temporary, limited lifting of economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran halting or scaling back parts of its nuclear infrastructure.

"What was achieved last night in Geneva is not an historic agreement, but an historic mistake,” said Netanyahu in remarks before his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning.
I feel it is a historic agreement. But, then I am not much for warmongering.

Today the world has become a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world,” the prime minister said.
 Netanyahu repeated a reference to his own red line by stating, “Israel will not allow Iran to develop a military nuclear capability.”

Strange. that comment from Netanyahu about the "most dangerous regime in the world"  From where I sit the most dangerous regimes look to be the US and Israel..............
President Obama plans to speak with Netanyahu on Sunday to discuss the agreement, according to a senior administration official.
 “The last-second amendments put into the agreement are far from satisfactory,” said Israel intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz.
 Asked if the interim deal might lead to military strike by Israel, Lieberman said Israel “would need to make different decisions.”
“This brings us to a new reality in the whole Middle East, including the Saudis. This isn’t just our worry,” Lieberman told Israel Radio. “We’ve found ourselves in a completely new situation.”
Naftali Bennett, Israel’s economic minister and key member of Netanyahu’s governing coalition, said, “if a nuclear suitcase blows up in New York or Madrid five years from now, it will be because of the deal that was signed this morning.”

Is Bennett suggesting Israel would undertake a terrorist attack as retaliation for the world powers signing this agreement? By way of deception and all that?  Reads like that to me.

Also interesting:
Clandestine meetings between US and Iran set stage for nuclear deal

 WASHINGTON - The United States and Iran secretly engaged in a series of high-level, face-to-face talks over the past year, in a high-stakes diplomatic gamble by the Obama administration that paved the way for the historic deal sealed early Sunday in Geneva aimed at slowing Tehran's nuclear program, The Associated Press has learned.

The discussions were kept hidden even from America's closest friends, including its negotiating partners and Israel, until two months ago, and that may explain how the nuclear accord appeared to come together so quickly after years of stalemate and fierce hostility between Iran and the West.

But the secrecy of the talks may also explain some of the tensions between the U.S. and France, which earlier this month balked at a proposed deal, and with Israel, which is furious about the agreement and has angrily denounced the diplomatic outreach to Tehran.

The talks were held in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman and elsewhere with only a tight circle of people in the know, the AP learned. Since March, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and Jake Sullivan, Vice-President Joe Biden's top foreign policy adviser, have met at least five times with Iranian officials.

The last four clandestine meetings, held since Iran's reform-minded President Hassan Rouhani was inaugurated in August, produced much of the agreement later formally hammered out in negotiations in Geneva among the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China, Germany and Iran, said three senior administration officials. All spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss by name the highly sensitive diplomatic effort.

The AP was tipped to the first U.S.-Iranian meeting in March shortly after it occurred, but the White House and State Department disputed elements of the account and the AP could not confirm the meeting. The AP learned of further indications of secret diplomacy in the fall and pressed the White House and other officials further. As the Geneva talks appeared to be reaching their conclusion, senior administration officials confirmed to the AP the details of the extensive outreach.

Read more on the clandestine meetings at the above link


  1. North Korea secret meetings

    Quoting unnamed sources from Japan, South Korea and the United States, the Tokyo-based Asahi Shimbun newspaper said last week that the American officials traveled on US military airplanes from an Air Force base on the Pacific island of Guam to North Korean capital Pyongyang. According to the paper, the visits, which took place on April 7 and August 18-20, 2012, were kept secret from both the South Korea and Japanese governments

  2. Meanwhile...

    Few days ago china announced it would no longer accumulate FX reserves as the yuan would be brought to float. This as the Shanghai exchanges proposed a Yuan oil contract. China just signed bilateral swaps with ECB and BOE

    No more dollar reserves?

    ECB swap

    It is the 2nd biggest line after south Korea - which is the 3rd leg of the China-Korea-Japan FTA vs. US backed TPP, now delayed

    BOE swap

    What China buying

    Note: China and Japan signed their FX swap "to avoid crossing the dollar" on Dec 25, 2011. The Nationalistic Japan gov then bought the Islands and the Abe drama unfolded over the interim

    Coincidence, Now this:
    US criticizes China’s new air zone, vows to defend Japan


    U.S. military to deploy latest equipments in Asia-pacific region: U.S. Pacific Fleet chief. The admiral said the U.S. Navy will soon replace the P-3C Orion with the newest maritime patrol aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, for its first deployment in Japan. Besides, the DDG-1000 Zumwalt-class stealth destroyer will join in the Pacific Fleet and the Littoral Combat Ship will rotate near Singapore. MH-60 maritime helicopters and Virginia-class attack submarines in Hawaii are also on the list of latest weapons.

    China slams US report on ‘growing military presence’
    "China sticks to the road of peaceful development and adheres to a non-aggressive strategy for national defense that is within the appropriate range to protect its sovereignty, national security and territorial integrity," China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular press briefing on Thursday.
    The annual report submitted to the US Congress by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said on Wednesday that China's military spending is rising and the modernization of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) "is altering the security balance in the Asia-Pacific, challenging decades of US military preeminence in the region."

    *** China just unveiled its sub force a few days after Russia tested count it 4 ICBMs...

    "Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said." October 30

    Also China test LR ICBM - Aug-13
    China’s military recently carried out a third test of a long-range DF-31A ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States with nuclear warheads.

  3. &
    Afghan conflict extended: Taleban condemn Afghan assembly's endorsement of US pact: "pact of slavery"

    Russia wonders why the DUMB bases?
    "Aren't [400 people] too few for nine military bases?" Kabulov said. "Besides, what is the purpose of hiding the infrastructure of the Camp Shorabak training camp underground, which is moreover equipped with a three-kilometer runway?"

    Afpak to monitor Iran and Pakistan/China/Russia

    This as the US strikes 5 YR cooperation deal with Pakistan - promises no more drone strikes ahead of Taliban negotiations

    Aircraft carrier to the Philippines
    [meanwhile the New zealand exercises kicked off Nov 4: Exercise Southern Katipo will take place from November 4 to 29 - Exercise Southern Katipo was cancelled in 2011 as NZDF personnel and assets were instead mobilised to respond to the Christchurch earthquake. ??

    Report says US should accelerate pivot


    Dramatic U.S. humanitarian effort in Philippines aids Asia "pivot" - By coincidence, and heavy in symbolism, the carrier is moored off the coast near where U.S. General Douglas MacArthur's forces landed on Oct. 20, 1944, in one of the biggest Allied victories, fulfilling his vow "I shall return". A senior Philippine officer said some of the equipment the United States provided had been in place before the typhoon struck.