Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Khamenei Restate Nuclear Redlines

Majlis Codifies Red Lines
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today restated his red lines for a nuclear deal with world powers after discord surfaced inside Iran between the government and lawmakers. Earlier in the day, the Majlis had passed a nuclear bill despite strong objections from Rouhani’s government. The bill passed Khamenei’s red lines into law, even after Rouhani’s vice president told lawmakers before the vote that the legislature could complicate negotiations just one week before the 30 June deadline for a final agreement.

Ayatollah Khamenei insisted that sanctions should be lifted as Iran begins the implementation of its commitments under a final agreement, and not after the IAEA certifies that Iran was indeed in compliance. Khamenei said he would not trust IAEA, because the agency is neither independent nor fair.

Khamenei also restated his objection for any inspections of military sites suspected of carrying out nuclear weapons-related work. IAEA has insisted that it needs to complete its inspection of possible military dimension to the country’s nuclear program, which would include an inspection of Parchin military base. Iran’s acceptance of IAEA’s Additional Protocol, which would facilitate such inspections, was part of the Lausanne framework agreement announced in April by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

Khameni also added a new redline today. He said he would not accept 10 or 12-year limitations on uranium enrichment, a central part of the Lausanne framework agreement.

"Unlike the insistence from the Americans, we do not accept long-term limitations of 10, 12 years. And we told them how many years of limitations we are ready to accept," Khamenei said. (IRNA, 23 June)

Comment: With exactly one week left to the 30 June deadline for a final agreement, Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments and Majlis' action today undercut the framework agreement already reached in Lausanne and announced by Zarif and Moghirini on 2 April. Khamenei wants all sanctions be lifted before IAEA inspectors verify Iranian compliance with dismantling part of the country’s nuclear infrastructure. He would not allow IAEA, irrespective of IAEA’s Additional Protocol, to inspect suspected sites, such as Parchin. The Lausanne framework agreement also stipulates a ten-year freeze on 20% enrichment, something Khamenei now appeared to be opposed to. Probably the negotiating partner in the nuclear talks should be Khamenei, and not Zarif. At least we will find out if there is a chance to cut a nuclear deal with Iran. Extending the deadline will not resolve the problem, it only creates a JPOA Forever!


Mark Pyruz said...

1) Iran not permitting access to military sites or inspections of its ballistic missile program has always been off limits during these negotiations.

2) As I understand it, nuclear-related R&D for 10-12 years is a no-go.

3) The Iranian position approved by SL branch of IRIG has always been a negotiated trade-off between greater inspection of declared sites, reduction of LEU stock and assistance with fuel cycle (a right, from the Iranian POV) in exchange for withdrawal of sanctions.

It's very unfortunate the Libyan example of totally opening up its nuclear program only to subsequently be subjected to NATO military-effected regime change looms over these negotiations, from SL and IRGC perspective.

Anonymous said...

Few more days and all will be revealed. Khamenei is not as stupid and dogmatic as he looks and acts without concessions a deal would not be effective as it would not be approved by the US congress. Frankly I do not see the reason for the dogma because it means Iran will shoulder the blame for failure of negotiations and leaves ambiguity of intent with Iranian nuclear issue leaving the door for sanctions to be tightened.
On Iran-Iraq war, on hostage taking, etc. Iran was dogmatic and irrational to the end whilst giving up at the last minute without any gains. In effect rather than trying to reach Nash's equilibrium they play the Prisoner's dilemma game (Game Theory) defecting to the last minute and then suddenly cooperating. This is because all the time there is an internal dimension to the negotiations which is over-riding. The leaders in Iran do not feel threatened enough to want to negotiate and what ever happens in days it will be considered success by some and failure by others except if the negotiations collapse, this would be considered failure by all.

Nader Uskowi said...

Khamanei's redlines, and Majlis' bill, contradict the Lausanne framework agreement that was reached after more than a year of negotiations and was jointly announced by Zarif and Moghirini on 2 April. The Additional Protocol, part of the Lausanne agreement, allows inspection of any site suspected of nuclear work. The Lausanne also clearly puts long-term limits on enrichment activities, something Khamenei came out against in no ambiguous term. The sequence of sanctions relief also agreed in Lausanne links the sanctions relief to IAEA certification.

Khamenei and the hard right in Iran were probably hoping that Israel and the hard right in the U.S. would prevent the agreement to go through and be blamed for it, but now, just one week before the deadline, had to intervene to stop a final agreement based on a framework that was already agreed to in Lausanne.

Of course the U.S. and other P5+1 countries are negotiating with Rouhani government and its representative at the talks, Foreign Minister Zarif. He is the one who should sign the final agreement.

Anonymous said...

Exactly Uskowi. What this tells us is that Khamenei and gang dont want normal relationship with the west.Normal relationship goes against the principles of the founder of the islamic republic which relies on the daily rhectoric of "marg bar amrika!" Only a few days ago Khamenei's rubber stamp majles couldn't resist that slogan.Those slogans are like oxygen to them.They need it to survive.

Anonymous said...

Nader UskowiJune 24, 2015 at 6:33 AM
"allows inspection of any site suspected of nuclear work"
No it doesnt,the iaea can request access but it is entirely up to iran whether to allow it or not,the ap does not give the iaea the right to look were it pleases

Nader Uskowi said...

Well of course that's true with inspection of any place by IAEA, be it a declared nuclear site or a non-declared site suspected of nuclear work. If Iran or any other signatory refuses access, the issue could go to an arbitration panel if such a provision is agreed to in the final agreement with P5+1, or directly to the UN Security Council for a decision.

The problem here however is not the mechanism by which such IAEA inspections should be arranged. Khamenei is saying that Iran will not allow under any circumstance, as a matter of principle, a visit to a military site like Parchin. That would violate AP. If Iran so believes that bases are off limit, it should not sign the Additional Protocol, nor should Iran include AP in the framework agreement, as they did in Lausanne. That's the right way of doing it. This is really a debate within Iran's senior leadership of accepting or not accepting the Additional Protocol.

BTW, Parchin, the military base, has been inspected in the past by IAEA, and Khamenei did not raise any issues then! In any arms agreement, which this deal really is, as its main goal is to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons, there are always inspection regimes. That was even the case between U.S. and USSR at the height of the Cold War. I do agree, however, that such inspections should be managed by IAEA and Iranian government in a proper way. The point is that these visits should respect the country's sovereignty and sensitive sites, like limiting the visit to a particular building in an otherwise large military base, but it should not be rejected off hand as a matter of principle.

Anonymous said...

Well said, anon 2:04