With the U.S. Fixated on Sanctions, Iran Is Writing the Script – Emily B. Landau
The U.S. administration says more sanctions on Iran will end negotiations. Why? Because the Iranians have said so, in particular, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif. This is the same foreign minister who, two weeks ago, put a wreath on the grave of arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, responsible for the deaths of several hundred Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, and who last week complained in an interview that the U.S. has mischaracterized the concessions made by Iran in the interim deal.
The U.S. – which until now was steadfastly advocating that sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table – is now taking its cue from Iran on a legislative measure in Congress intended to strengthen its hand ahead of the next round of negotiations. How can it come as any surprise that Iran would emphatically claim that any new sanctions legislation will kill negotiations?
While the administration has been hailing the new Iranian cooperation and the halt of enrichment to 20%, Iran believes that the interim deal grants it an unfettered right to continue work on any aspect of research and development of more and more advanced generations of centrifuges, and continued work related to the Arak facility.
Of perhaps greater concern is the growing sense that the U.S. – and the P5+1 as a group – do not really want to find Iran in noncompliance with the interim deal. It is their keen desire that negotiations continue, no matter what. The writer is a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies. (Ha’aretz)