Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 8 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/27/19

Iran's "Only Crime Is We Decided Not to Fold"

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages) (# of views)   1 comment
Author 73066
Message Pepe Escobar
Become a Fan
  (184 fans)

From Consortium News

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, earlier this month.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, earlier this month.
(Image by (Asia Times/Pepe Escobar))
  Details   DMCA

Just in time to shine a light on what's behind the latest sanctions from Washington, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a speech at the annual Astana Club meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, delivered a searing account of Iran-U.S. relations to a select audience of high-ranking diplomats, former presidents and analysts.

Zarif was the main speaker in a panel titled "The New Concept of Nuclear Disarmament." Keeping to a frantic schedule, he rushed in and out of the round table to squeeze in a private conversation with Kazakh First President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

During the panel, moderator Jonathan Granoff, president of the Global Security Institute, managed to keep a Pentagon analyst's questioning of Zafir from turning into a shouting match.

Previously, I had extensively discussed with Syed Rasoul Mousavi, minister for West Asia at the Iran Foreign Ministry, myriad details on Iran's stance everywhere from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. I was at the James Bond-ish round table of the Astana Club, as I moderated two other panels, one on multipolar Eurasia and the post-INF environment and another on Central Asia (the subject of further columns).

Zarif's intervention was extremely forceful. He stressed how Iran "complied with every agreement and it got nothing;" how "our people believe we have not gained from being part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action; how inflation is out of control; how the value of the rial dropped 70 percent "because of 'coercive measures' not sanctions because they are illegal."

He spoke without notes, exhibiting absolute mastery of the inextricable swamp that is U.S.-Iran relations. It turned out, in the end, to be a bombshell. Here are highlights.

Zarif's story began back during 1968 negotiations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, with the stance of the "Non-Aligned Movement to accept its provisions only if at a later date" which happened to be 2020 "there would be nuclear disarmament." Out of 180 non-aligned countries, "90 countries co-sponsored the indefinite extension of the NPT."

Moving to the state of play now, he mentioned how the United States and France are "relying on nuclear weapons as a means of deterrence, which is disastrous for the entire world." Iran on the other hand "is a country that believes nuclear weapons should never be owned by any country," due to "strategic calculations based on our religious beliefs."

Zarif stressed how "from 2003 to 2012 Iran was under the most severe UN sanctions that have ever be imposed on any country that did not have nuclear weapons. The sanctions that were imposed on Iran from 2009 to 2012 were greater than the sanctions that were imposed on North Korea, which had nuclear weapons."

Discussing the negotiations for the JCPOA that started in 2012, Zarif noted that Iran had started from the premise that "we should be able to develop as much nuclear energy as we wanted" while the U.S. had started with the premise that Iran should never have any centrifuges." That was the "zero-enrichment" option.

Zarif, in public, always comes back to the point that "in every zero-sum game everybody loses." He admits the JCPOA is "a difficult agreement. It's not a perfect agreement. It has elements I don't like and it has elements the United States does not like." In the end, "we reached the semblance of a balance."

Zarif offered a quite enlightening parallel between the NPT and the JCPOA: "The NPT was based on three pillars: non-proliferation, disarmament and access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Basically, the disarmament part of NPT is all but dead, non-proliferation is barely surviving and peaceful use of nuclear energy is under serious threat," he observed.

Meanwhile, "JCPOA was based on two pillars: economic normalization of Iran, which is reflected in Security Council resolution 2231, and at the same time Iran observing certain limits on nuclear development."

Crucially, Zarif stressed there is nothing "sunset" about these limits, as Washington argues: "We will be committed to not producing nuclear weapons forever."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

Must Read 2   News 2   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Pepe Escobar Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

You Want War? Russia is Ready for War

Why Putin is driving Washington nuts

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

All aboard the New Silk Road(s)

It was Putin's missile?

Where is Prince Bandar?

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   


You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.

Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 

Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments  Post Comment


Mohammad Ala

Become a Fan
Author 8028
(Member since Oct 1, 2007), 10 fans, 25 articles, 35 quicklinks, 994 comments, 1 diaries (View Extended Stats)
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

  New Content

Thanks Pepe for this report. Thanks for your time.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 29, 2019 at 2:16:08 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
  Recommend  (0+)
Help

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment