After more than a decade of intense negotiations with Tehran, we are still no closer to understanding whether Iran is really trying to build an atom bomb
You only had to look at the beaming smiles on the faces of the Iranian negotiating team to see who had emerged as the undisputed winners of the drawn-out negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.
Iranians have long enjoyed a reputation for being wily negotiators, but the outcome of the marathon talks that concluded in Vienna amidst a fanfare of mutual congratulation will have surpassed even their wildest expectations.
Tehran entered these talks, let us not forget, out of sheer desperation to escape the crippling effects of the economic sanctions imposed by the West in retaliation for Iran’s less-than-forthright disclosures about its nuclear activities. These included building a heavily fortified underground uranium enrichment facility at Natanz (whose existence was exposed by the Iranian opposition in 2003) and a similar establishment built deep within a mountain at Fordow (whose existence was exposed by British intelligence in 2009).
far from holding the Iranians to account for their deception, we now have the bizarre situation where we have world leaders from Washington to Tehran – even including Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad – celebrating the conclusion of a deal which leaves us none the wiser about Iran’s true nuclear intentions. Moreover, the deal set out in Vienna yesterday allows Iran to retain vital capabilities that can be used for making nuclear weapons, such as developing more sophisticated methods of enriching uranium to weapons grade, as well as continuing development work on its ballistic missile programme.
In return, Iran can now look forward to having the sanctions lifted as well as the global freeze on its assets, which could result in Tehran realising an estimated $150 billion (around £100 billion) in funds. No wonder the Iranian negotiators are celebrating their “historic” deal.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.S.-led nuclear deal with Iran on Tuesday dealt a heavy personal blow to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, leaving him at odds with the international community and with few options for scuttling an agreement he has spent years trying to prevent.
Netanyahu condemned the deal as a “stunning historic mistake,” saying it would not prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability. It also did nothing to address the Islamic Republic’s support for hostile militant groups, he said.