USA Today – (2 April 2015) Iran and six world powers reached a historic agreement Thursday on a broad framework for resolving their long-standing dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which has left the Islamic nation economically isolated.
“Today, we have taken a decisive step. We have reached solutions on key parameters for a comprehensive future nuclear deal,” European Union Foreign Affairs Minister Federica Mogherini said in formally announcing the deal in Lausanne, Switzerland.
She said Iran would not produce weapons-grade fuel and international monitors will have enhanced access to Iran’s nuclear facilities.
She said sanctions would be “terminated” but did not specify the timetable, which has been a sticking point of the negotiations. Iran pushed to lift them immediately, while the United States wants most of them in place until Iran follows through on terms of the deal.The precise timing will be determined as the negotiators work out a final agreement scheduled for completion in June.
So what’s the big deal? The whole “historic” episode is shrouded with controversies and contradictions. Deal or no deal, nobody seems to be sure after the announcement. Perhaps Google translate didn’t do a good job. The US version doesn’t agree with the French version, neither does the Iranian version. Contradictions are splattered all over the crux of the “agreement”. Was there really a deal? New York Post reported the deal with much sarcasm:
All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner.
First, we have a joint statement in English in 291 words by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy point-woman Federica Mogherini, who led the so-called P5+1 group of nations including the US in the negotiations.
John Kerry and his team watch from Lausanne, Switzerland as President Obama makes his state address on the status of the Iran nuclear program talks on April 2nd.Photo: Reuters
Next we have the official Iranian text, in Persian, which runs into 512 words. The text put out by the French comes with 231 words. The prize for “spinner-in-chief” goes to US Secretary of State John Kerry who has put out a text in 1,318 words and acts as if we have a done deal.
It is not only in their length that the texts differ.
They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives.
The Mogherini and French texts are vague enough to be ultimately meaningless, even as spin.
The Persian text carefully avoids words that might give the impression that anything has been agreed by the Iranian side or that the Islamic Republic has offered any concessions.
The Iranian text is labelled as a press statement only. The American text, however, pretends to enumerate “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” and claims key points have been “decided.” What remains to be done is work out “implementation details.”
Alright, that’s enough. Since Iran is the main player in the agreement, we should just listen to what the Iranian President Rouhani said in a televised speech on Thursday (9 April 2015): “We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day … We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks.”
Clearly, he said “no deal”, at least for now.
The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.