Sunday, July 13, 2014

Iran nuclear Talks Update ( July 13 , 2014 ) State of play in the Iran and P 5 + 1 Talks ( deadline to complete Long Term Agreement - 7/20/14 ) ....... A Final Agreement extremely unlikely so an extension of three to six months looming .......

Moon of Alabama.....


July 13, 2014

Iran: The Nuclear Negotiations Scam

Four "western" Foreign Ministers flew to Vienna today to further negotiate about Iran's nuclear achievements. It is quite dubious why Kerry thought that such a meeting now would be helpful. It looks like this was planned as an attempt to intimidate Iran into further concessions but failed because neither Russia's nor China's Foreign Minister are attending.
The negotiations are supposed to find a compromise until July 20. After that the negotiations would have to be prolonged for another 6 month which would only give more time to those who are against any deal to sabotage it.

The two sticking points are "breakout capacity" and the length of the period Iran would restrict itself to a certain limits of its industrial nuclear capacities. The "breakout capability" is a quite weird concept described as the total centrifuge capacity and thereby capability to produce enough enriched Uranium for one sole bomb in a certain time frame. Of course no state wanting a nuclear deterrent would use its officially declared, and highly controlled capacities to produce the materials needed. Nor would the reach of a "one bomb" capability be significant in any strategic sense.

But the U.S. negotiators seem to stick to the concept of arbitrarily limiting enrichment capabilities while even very seasoned U.S. proliferation experts find that it not helpful and that it risks to make any deal impossible:
So the most realistic goal in Vienna isn’t to make breakout impossible, but to make it a difficult and unattractive option for Iran. Once you see that as the goal, you realize that the gains in transparency from any likely deal—extremely close monitoring of declared facilities and the power to inspect undeclared facilities—should be at the forefront of American thinking about this problem. It would be a mistake to sacrifice such transparency in a failed attempt to reduce Iran’s breakout capacity by some arbitrary increment that is actually less valuable than many in Washington think it is.
The Chinese and Russian seem see the U.S. concept of "breakout capability" as a sham that is used to sabotage the talks:
Vladimir Evseyev of the Russian state-run CIS institute says Washington’s insistence that Iran shut down uranium enrichment facilities and negotiate on its missile program violates the accords outlining the scope of the talks. The U.S., he said, wants negotiations to “to be lengthy and painful,” so as to keep sanctions in place for its own political agenda.

Diplomats familiar with the talks say Moscow shares Washington’s desire to reach a deal but is significantly less demanding of Tehran. While the U.S. wants deep cuts in Iranian programs that could be used to make nuclear arms, Russia would settle for pervasive monitoring, they say.
The Chinese and Russians are agreeing with the U.S. proliferation experts. The "breakout capability" is nonsense and good monitoring is much more important than any numerical capacity restriction.



That "western" states use the concept of "breakout capacity" at all can only be interpreted as their unwillingness of reaching a deal with Iran.






http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2014/07/12/khamenei-remarks-show-both-sides-maneuver-on-enrichment/


Khamenei Remarks Show Both Sides Maneuver on Enrichment
by , July 13, 2014
Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s comments on the nuclear talks Monday provided an unusual glimpse of diplomatic maneuvering by the U.S.-led coalition of five nuclear powers and Germany on the issue of enrichment capability to be allowed in a comprehensive agreement.
But his remarks also suggested that Iran was responding with its own diplomatic maneuver on the issue. Both sides appear to have put forward demands that they knew were nonstarters with the intention of moderating their demands substantially in return for major concessions from the other side.
Khamenei described the United States and the P5+1 as demanding initially that Iran’s annual enrichment capability be cut to the equivalent of as few as 500 to 1,000 centrifuges – as little as 2.6 percent percent of its present level of 19,000 centrifuges.
But he also suggested they were now aiming at getting Iran to accept a capability equivalent to the annual production of 10,000 centrifuges on the condition that it would be the final level for the duration of the agreement.
“They seek to make Iran accept 10,000 SWUs, which means the products of 10,000 centrifuges of older type that we already have,” said Khamenei in a speech to an audience that included President Hassan Rouhani. The P5+1 had “started with 500 SWU and 1,000 SWU”, he said, referring to demands advanced by the P5+1 in the negotiations last month.
The Iranian leader’s assertion about the coalition’s position last month is consistent with a statement by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Jun. 14 that “the West wants to slash the number of centrifuges” that Iran would be allowed to maintain to “several hundred”.
Secretary of State John Kerry had said in April that the U.S. intention was to demand very deep cuts in Iran’s enrichment capability, arguing it was necessary to lengthen the time it would take Iran to turn its uranium enriched to 3.5 percent into enough weapons grade uranium for a single bomb to six to 12 months.
What he did not acknowledge publicly, however, is that such cuts were not necessary to achieve such a lengthening of the “breakout” timeline, because it could be also be accomplished by the reduction of Iran’s stockpile of low enriched uranium and measures to avoid the accumulation of a new stockpile.
Iran pledged as part of the interim agreement to begin the process of converting its UF6, the gaseous form of low enriched uranium, into oxide powder, which would not be available for further enrichment without reversing the process. It is now ready to begun operating a new facility specifically devoted to that conversion, according to Reuters.
Khamenei was suggesting that that the US is now ready to accept a 10,000 SWU limit in return for Iran’s agreeing to forsake the further increases that Iran has been insisting will be necessary.
10,000 SWU would coincide with Iran’s current production capability, based on the 10,000 primitive first generation centrifuges that have been operational. Another 9,000 centrifuges have been installed but have never operated, apparently with the intention of using them as bargaining chips.
In what appears to have been a response to the diplomatic maneuver by the P5+1, Khamenei announced a new Iranian demand for an increase after 2021 to a level that is nearly twice as high as what independent experts have estimated is necessary to support the Bushehr reactor.
Khamenei identified the level of enrichment capability that Iran’s atomic energy organization would eventually require as “190,000 SWU”.
A group of Princeton University specialists estimated in a recent article on Iran’s enrichment needs that it would require about 100,000 SWU to produce enough low enriched uranium to provide fuel for the Bushehr reactor – the basis for Iran’s demand for an increase.
Khamenei also made a point of saying that the need was more than five years out, seeming to leave open the possibility that Iran would agree to hold off on adding the additional enrichment capacity he said was needed. “Maybe this need will not be for this year, or two years, or five years, but this is the final need of the country,” Khamenei said.
The head of Iran’s atomic energy organization, Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi, who commented on the issue to various news outlets in Iran Wednesday, also employed a formula that avoided closing the door to negotiations on the question of when Iran would have to begin building more centrifuges. He told the Young Journalists’ Club that 190,000 SWU “is our real need, the most basic need, in an eight-year outlook.”
Salehi’s reference to eight years is related to the fact that the contract with Russia to supply nuclear fuel for the Bushehr reactor expires in 2021. Iranian officials have said Iran intends to take over the fabrication of fuel for Bushehr at that time, which would require much higher levels of enrichment capability.
Khamenei’s remarks suggest that Iran has adopted its own maneuver aimed at positioning Iran to negotiate for a much smaller increase after a period of years in which Iran would hold at roughly the present level of operational enrichment capability.
An unnamed US official who briefed reporters Jul. 3 said that the capability for “industrial scale enrichment” – i.e., the capability to provide fuel for Bushehr – “isn’t anything that’s under consideration.”
But the same official also said, “What choices they make after they get to normalcy – that is after a long duration of an agreement, when they will be treated as any other non-nuclear weapons state under the NPT – will of course be their choice.”
The official’s reference to Iran’s freedom to undertake enrichment once the agreement expires raises the question whether the negotiation of the termination date for the agreement could be the vehicle for reaching a compromise on the issue.
US officials have not said anything publicly about the issue of the duration of the agreement. However, Robert Einhorn, whose long paper for the Brookings Institution published Mar. 31 was widely regarded as reflecting Obama administration thinking, said the United States wanted the comprehensive agreement to last “about twenty years”.
Iranian statements appear to rule out agreeing to any duration of more than five to eight years.
Another way to bridge the large gap between the two sides in the final days of the negotiation, however, may be to agree on a provision for review and adjustment of the level of enrichment capacity allowable under the agreement that would come shortly before the expiration of the Russian contract in 2021. Einhorn suggested such a review process for different provisions of the agreement.
Reviewing the longer-term level of Iranian enrichment after several years would allow Iran to demonstrate that it has not pursued a “breakout” capability by drawing down its existing stockpile of low-enriched uranium and not allowing a new stockpile to accumulate. That is what Iran’s proposal is aimed at doing, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told IPS in an interview last month.
Especially if the trend toward US and Iran interests in relation to jihadist forces in the Middle East continues to develop during that period, a future administration might be far more willing to ease the present political restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program in the final years of the agreement.
Whether the American-Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will continue to hold sway over Congress would remain a crucial question governing the politics of the issue, however.







http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-iran-talks-20140713-story.html


 U.S. officials warned Saturday that they would not seek to extend negotiations over Iran's nuclear program beyond the July 20 deadline unless Tehran's negotiators make major concessions in the next several days.
With top Western diplomats convening Sunday in the Austrian capital to review progress in the talks, senior U.S. officials said the two sides remained deeply divided on the core issue of the negotiations: how much uranium enrichment capacity Iran could retain under an agreement to limit its nuclear development program.
They noted that in the last week, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other officials had declared in public comments that Iran needs in the coming years to expand its enrichment capacity to 19 times the current level.
"All you had to do is listen this week to public comments coming from some in the Iranian leadership to see that we're still very far apart on some issues," a senior administration official told journalists Saturday.
Although the two sides have made "some progress" in five months of almost daily negotiations, the official said, "on some key issues Iran has not moved from their, from our perspective, unworkable and inadequate position."
A second senior U.S. official said it would be "hard to contemplate an extension without seeing significant progress on some key issues, and that's what we're going to be looking for over the next few days."
****


http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2014/07/kerry-lands-vienna-iran-nuclear-talks-201471351522317159.html


Kerry lands in Vienna for Iran nuclear talks

US secretary of state will meet ministers from six powers trying to complete deal with Iran on nuclear programme.

Last updated: 13 Jul 2014 06:33
Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker
Email Article

Print Article

Share article

Send Feedback

One key issue that remains in Iran's nuclear negotiations is uranium enrichment [AFP]
John Kerry has arrived in Austria's capital Vienna for talks with foreign ministers from the six powers negotiating with Iran on its nuclear programme, with one week left to bridge major differences and strike a historic nuclear deal.
The US secretary of state arrived on Sunday after clinching a deal in Kabul with Afghanistan's presidential candidates to hold a UN-monitored audit of the country's disputed election.
The US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China are involved in talks to reach a long-term deal to end the decade-old nuclear dispute with Iran by July 20.
Officials on both sides say that the talks, which on July 3 entered their sixth and final round, have progressed, with Iran's chief negotiator saying on Saturday that a draft accord was 60-65 percent complete.
One key notable issue that remains is uranium enrichment, a process that can produce fuel or weapons-grade material.
Iran wants to increase its capability to fuel its only functioning nuclear power station, and future planned facilities. The six powers want a sharp reduction.
Kerry "will gauge the extent of Iran's willingness to commit to credible and verifiable steps that would back up its public statements about the peaceful nature of its nuclear programme," the US state department said.
He will "assess Iran's willingness to make a set of critical choices at the negotiating table" and then "make recommendations" to the US president, Barack Obama.
Many diplomats and analysts believe an extension may be needed in view of the wide gaps in negotiating positions.
Among his meetings on Sunday, Kerry will meet with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has said he wants to discuss new accusations of US spying on Berlin.