Press Conference with Secretary of State John Kerry on P5+1 Talks on Iran's Nuclear Program
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Secretary of State John Kerry at a press conference after G5 + 1 temporary agreement with Iran
All eyes may not be on Iran but maybe they should be. Or more accurately on the negotiations and the potential minefields that could unhinge the diplomacy with the Islamic Republic and the G5 plus 1 that occurred just weeks ago.
It was just a temporary diplomatic agreement that was agreed to which had Iran freezing its existing nuclear program in exchange for easing some existing sanctions.
Those "minefields" include the sanctions hawks in Congress who want sanctions ramped up as they appear to be the most problematic in crippling a final deal with Iran. And make no mistake; these are not some independent yahoos acting out of good conscience over an Iranian nuclear bomb capability. No this crowd are the sycophants beholden to the AIPAC led Jewish Lobby and Israel who are dead set against any deal that allows Iran to have any type nuclear program.
Yesterday, before a House committee discussing the interim deal with Iran, Secretary of State John Kerry uncharacteristically though succinctly put it, "This is a very delicate diplomatic moment. We're at one of those hinge points in history." Considering some of his outlandish verbal gaffes i.e. bomb Syrian government installations in response to its alleged use of chemical weapons without any proof or confirmation, on this point regarding Iran he's right on target.
To soothe the feathers of the hawks on the committee he gave them some "red meat" intimating the U.S. could destroy Iran's nuclear facilities if they moved to build a bomb saying, "We have the absolute capacity deployed now to deal with that if we had to from a military point of view". Alas, such is the contradictory verbal hyperbole the U.S. brings to diplomacy where potential war making on Iran MUST remain on the table to comfort the sanction crazies unless Iran succumbs to complete capitulation and cedes over its entire nuclear program.
For the moment the Obama administration may have prevailed as members of the House and Senate armed services committee's agreed not to add a sanctions amendment to a defense bill that is to be voted on by the full Congress this Friday.
Even from afar, anyone following the political situation in Iran it seems clear there's been a definite transformation away from the bombastic assertions of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to embracing new President Hassan Rouhani, his diplomatic outreach to toward the U.S. and President Obama which seems to have the full backing of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei.
Even so the "Death to America" reactionaries are plentiful in Iran. They have benefitted from the antipathy toward the "Great Satan", easily endured the economic sanctions that have otherwise hurt most of the Iranian people. So they are not to be easily dismissed in complicating any permanent deal.
So any long term deal with Iran could also unravel if Iran's hardliners were to prevail particularly if new sanctions are applied along with their counterparts in the American Congress demanding Iran cede its entire nuclear program in order for a final agreement to be signed.
From Iran's standpoint it's nuclear program is for peaceful means, is their right to develop and a matter of personal pride, so the regime ending it becomes highly unlikely.
The facts are conclusive; Iran is complying in every instance with the U.N. nuclear inspectors regarding all its nuclear facilities. They have not crossed a threshold in processing uranium to bomb grade and if they did it couldn't be hidden. Khamenei has repeatedly stated a nuclear weapon is un-Islamic and rejected any idea Iran is pursuing such a capability.
The key is and has always been with the U.S. We are the principal antagonist along with Israel. We have demonized Iran, made it a pariah in the eyes of many Americans and up till now poisoned any chance for rapprochement and de'tente with Iran.
Hopefully that will change but it remains to be seen whether Obama can keep a tether on the mad dogs in Congress, keep a leash on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and keep the Saudi's from initiating some terrorist type diversion against Iran's allies in the Assad led Syrian government or Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah that gets Iran to overreact.
As Kerry said, "This is a hinge point in history".