by Stephen Lendman
November and subsequent Geneva nuclear talks fell far short of final resolution. Longstanding differences remain. It shows in continuing Big Lies.
They wrongfully suggest an Iranian nuclear threat. They do so when none whatever exists. It's well known but unacknowledged.
Anti-Iranian sentiment persists. It gives pause to Washington's real intentions. On January 9, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei commented.
He said nuclear talks proved US hostility to Iran and Islam. "The Enemy's smile shouldn't be taken seriously." Its intentions and actions matter most.
"We had announced previously that on certain issues, if we feel it expedient, we would negotiate with Satan (America) to deter its evil."
"Our enemies do not know the great Iranian nation. They think their imposed sanctions forced Iran to enter negotiations. No, it is wrong."
Earlier Ayatollah Khamenei said what he and others repeated often:
"We fundamentally reject nuclear weapons and prohibit (their) use and production..."
Sanctions adversely impact Iran's economy. Ordinary Iranians suffer most. Tehran very much wants relief. Whether resolving its nuclear issue helps remains to be seen.
Previous articles explained. Iran's nuclear program is peaceful. It has no military component. US intelligence says so annually.
Targeting it unjustly is red herring cover for regime change. Washington wants subservient governments replacing independent ones.
Pretexts are created. Iraq's nonexistent WMDs led to war. Iran's peaceful nuclear program may do the same thing. So far it's meant multiple rounds of punishing sanctions.
Congress wants more. Last July, House members voted overwhelmingly to impose them. The Senate so far hasn't done so.
It's inching closer. On January 7, the Jerusalem Post headlined "Fifty US senators line up behind new Iran sanctions bill."
Support doubled since December. It's bipartisan. Democrats are as anti-Iranian as Republicans. Half the Senate co-sponsored the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act of 2013.
An unnamed Senate staffer said eight more joined them. A two-thirds majority in both Houses is required to override presidential vetoes.
The measure gives Obama one year to negotiate final settlement terms. It unjustifiably calls Iran's nuclear program controversial.
For sure, America threatens world peace. So does Israel. Britain, France and other key NATO members are part of its killing machine.
Congress consistently points fingers the wrong way. Obama can't be trusted. His credibility is sorely lacking.
Washington wants Iran to concede more than interim agreement terms. Doing so greatly jeopardizes final resolution.
Imposing new sanctions hangs in the balance. Iran's oil exports will be targeted more than already.
More is at stake. The measure supports a future Israeli military attack. Doing so perhaps means Washington's involvement. For sure it would if Iran retaliates.
Consider the stakes. Regional war could follow. If Russia and/or China intervene, global war is possible. Major conflicts begin this way.
Perhaps another will erupt this year. All potential parties should be mindful. They should go all out to avoid it.
Washington and Israel thrive on war. If another regional one begins, they'll bear full responsibility. Hawks in both countries outmatch doves. Whether greater conflict occurs remains to be seen.
According to an unnamed senior Senate aide, a full floor vote is planned. Odds favor passage. On December 19, White House press secretary Jay Carney said:
"We don't think this action is necessary. We don't think it will be enacted. If it (is), the president would veto it.
It may not matter what he does or doesn't do. Veto-proof majorities in both Houses may override him.
Another Senate aide thinks accommodation between Congress and Obama is possible.
"Rhetoric aside," he said, "everyone can get something. The administration gets up to a year of flexibility to negotiate."
"Iran gets limited sanctions relief, and Congress gets the insurance policy we've been seeking."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democrat whip Steny Hoyer jointly wrote a resolution supporting the Senate's measure.
Senator Tim Johnson chairs the Senate Banking Committee. It typically handles sanctions legislation.
He said the Nuclear Weapons Free Iran Act of 2013 won't proceed through his committee. It's need an alternative route for a full floor vote.
On January 9, Voice of Russia headlined "Iran, big power nuclear talks hit snag on centrifuge research." They remain a "sticking point."
According to an unnamed Western diplomat:
"As part of the November 24 agreement, Iran is permitted to engage in R&D, but that is tempered by the fact that it is prohibited to install new centrifuges, except as required by wear and tear."
A former US official said Iran informed P5+1 countries it wants to install additional "IR-2m" centrifuges.
They're modified versions of second generation machines. According to Voice of Russia:
"(D)iplomats now say Iran (wants to develop) more advanced centrifuges than the existing ones."
It's testing new models at Natanz. It's unclear if they're entirely new or modified versions of installed ones.
Centrifuges are crucial for Iran. It wants its R&D rights respected. It wants to be treated like dozens of other nuclear states.
It has every right to insist. Washington wants Iran denied its legitimate rights.
Same old excuses are heard. Better, faster centrifuges means a greater nuclear weapons threat, critics claim.
How can it when Iran's program is entirely peaceful? How this issue gets resolved remains to be seen.
On January 20, Geneva's agreement is tentatively scheduled to begin. Leaving the centrifuge issue unresolved jeopardizes doing it. Whether it can be in time remains to be seen.
Last November, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Geneva is "dead" if Congress imposes new sanctions. AIPAC supports doing so.
It practically owns Congress. It supports Israel's imperial agenda. It's a malevolent force. It's a blight on humanity.
It's an unregistered foreign agent. It operates illegally. It does so unaccountably. It does it destructively. It promotes war. It deplores peace. It threatens humanity. Most often it gets what it wants.
On January 10, Iran and P5+1 countries began day two of more nuclear talks. They're ongoing in Geneva.
On January 9, Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas, Deputy EU Foreign Policy Chief Helga Schmidt, and US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman discussed remaining unresolved issues.
Both sides conducted a third round of high-level talks last week. Finalizing the timeline for implementing Geneva will be decided after current talks.
According to Araqchi, "(t)he exact date...will be after" his meeting with Schmidt. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif stressed Tehran's "serious(ness) about implementing the Joint Plan of Action."
"We are much serious about continuing the path based on the Joint Plan of Action agreed by the ministers (of both sides) in Geneva, and we believe that progress and entering the next difficult stage, or in other words negotiation and reaching a comprehensive solution, is completely possible through the other side' s commitment to the Geneva agreement," Zarif said.
"The nuclear negotiations are underway seriously and with strong political will; the expert delegations of Iran and the G5+1 have had tens of hours of intensive negotiations and reached positive results," he added.
Longstanding anti-Iranian sentiment persists. Washington and Israel bear full responsibility. It remains to be seen whether Geneva turns out more real or mirage.
Decades of anti-Iranian hostility give pause for concern. Longstanding US policy hasn't changed.
Whether this time is different remains very much in doubt. Previous articles said Washington has all the proving to do. It's track record isn't encouraging.
A Final Comment
Seventy-six former Washington officials remain hardline. They're neocons. They deplore peace. They promote war.
They urge congressional toughness on Iran. They did so by open letter. They addressed Speaker Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Reid, Senate Minority Leader McConnell and House Minority Leader Pelosi.
The link below includes their full comments:
They show what Iran faces going forward. It bodes ill for equitable conflict resolution. More trouble is likely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.