by Stephen Lendman
After two days of nuclear talks, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said there's no point involving P5+1 foreign ministers unless negotiators appear close to a deal.
Asked how things are going, he said: "We haven't made any progress. (W)e haven't reached the stage to discuss the text (of a deal) seriously."
Resolution depends on "the other side show(ing) the necessary flexibility, and we can then reach an agreement on the text rapidly. (E)nrichment is our redline, and will not be stopped at all."
"No agreement will be accepted in which enrichment doesn't exist from the very beginning to the end."
Iran is firm. Enrichment is its legitimate right. Details alone aren't resolved. Whether it's possible remains to be seen.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman represents America. She's Obama's chief negotiator.
She's militantly anti-Iranian. Her presence poisons Geneva's atmosphere. Perhaps that's why she's there.
She told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members: "We know that deception is part of (Iran's) DNA." She lied saying so. Her comment reflects longstanding US anti-Iranian sentiment. It's unchanged.
Tehran fully complies with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty provisions. Enrichment is permitted. Sherman lied claiming otherwise. NPT's Article IV states:
"(N)othing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."
Doing so permits developing fuel-cycle capabilities. At issue only is limiting them to peaceful applications.
Iran deplores nuclear weapons. It wants them all eliminated. It wants a nuclear free region. It wants a nuclear free world.
Mushroom shaped cloud finality threatens survival. Nuclear weapons states hold humanity hostage, said Helen Caldicott.
They maintain "thousands of hydrogen bombs on land and sea-based missiles, on high alert, ready to be launched within minutes leaving us vulnerable to human or computer error, to hackers (domestic and foreign), and to the sheer adrenalin and anxiety of political crisis."
A real or contrived emergency could produce mass annihilation. The insanity of nuclear weapons demands they all be eliminated.
At least one hydrogen bomb targets most cities with populations over 100,000, said Caldicott. It's "true in Russia, China, Europe, Canada, and the US."
A "single failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history. I am sickened that we still play this deadly game of nuclear risk with our fragile planet."
"There are no national or political goals that justify a war that could terminate human existence."
"What terrifying accident or act of aggression must happen to awake people and our leaders to this reality?"
"This cannot be how we learn if we wish to avoid nuclear armageddon, and nuclear winter. Once initiated, it would take one hour to trigger a swift, sudden end to life on this planet."
Other issues in Geneva remain unresolved. Araqchi said removing "oil and banking sanctions will be part of the negotiations."
On Wednesday, Iran's parliament urged P5+1 negotiators to avoid killing time, saying:
"If they want to turn the negotiations into an attrition and time-killing process, the Iranian parliament will take decisions based on the Iranian nation's demands and will even reconsider its new cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)."
Lawmakers reiterated Iran's legitimate nuclear rights. Legislation is being considered to protect them. It requires continued development of sites and enrichment facilities.
It includes producing second and third generation centrifuges. They'll replace first generation ones. It calls doing so important to further nuclear fuel production economic and industrial productivity.
It requires producing enough enriched uranium fuel to power Iran's nuclear facilities in three years.
Other provisions include enriching uranium up to 20%. Iran's research reactor uses it to produce radioisotopes for medical purposes and possible trade.
Completing Arak's heavy water reactor is mandated. So is cooperating with IAEA inspectors.
It calls for Geneva talks not compromising or denying Iran its legitimate NPT rights.
On November 21, AFP headlined "US Senate to move on new Iran sanctions in December."
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. NV) said expect them if Geneva produces no resolution.
"The Senate must be prepared to move forward with a new bipartisan Iran sanctions bill when the Senate returns after the Thanksgiving recess," said Reid. "I'm prepared to do just that."
"I will support a bill that would broaden the scope of our current petroleum sanctions; place limitations on trade with strategic sectors of the Iranian economy that support its nuclear ambitions, as well as pursue those who divert goods to Iran."
The canard of an Iranian nuclear threat persists. It's red herring cover for longstanding US hostility. It persists.
Washington's game plan may be to prevent resolution in Geneva. Diplomatic mumbo jumbo may mask its real intentions.
According to Tehran University Professor Mohammad Marandi, Israel is going all out to prevent resolution.
"It is in the interest of the Israeli regime to have the problem fester and to continue, just as the Israeli regime's policy in the region is to keep the region unstable and to keep the region in disorder."
Disingenuously blaming Iran for Washington's reneging on a reported November 9 agreement was a breach of trust, Marandi added.
America calls the shots in Geneva. Success or failure depends on Obama's intentions. His public rhetoric masks them. Longstanding anti-Iranian hostility remains firm.
France is a convenient bad cop. Israeli influence is strong. AIPAC's power can't be underestimated.
It bears repeating. What Washington says goes. If Obama wants a deal, they'll be one. The buck stops with him. He'll bear full responsibility for failure.
Whatever happens in Geneva, longstanding US anti-Iranian hostility persists. Nothing substantive will change without ending it.
Note: Reports suggest P5+1 negotiators accepted Iran's enrichment rights. To what extent isn't clear. Other issues remain unresolved.
P5+1 foreign ministers few to Geneva. They'll join ongoing talks.
Their earlier November involvement produced failure. Will this time be different? Will whatever happens matter?
It bears repeating. Ending longstanding US anti-Iranian hostility matters most. Real change won't happen without achieving it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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.