Iran Is Using Interminable Negotiations as Cover to Continue Its March to the Bomb

Nov. 30 2021

Today, representatives of Russia, the EU, and Iran gathered in Vienna to resume negotiations over the revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement. Not present were American delegates, who—at Tehran’s insistence—are only participating through European intermediaries. That alone renders the talks a “pantomime wrapped in farce inside a charade,” writes Bobby Ghosh:

Since the previous round of negotiations five months ago, Iran has repeatedly signaled that it isn’t serious about the restoration of its 2015 deal with the world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). If anything, it has gone out of its way to sabotage the talks.

The most obvious manifestation of this is Iran’s refusal to talk directly with the U.S. . . . Another clue is the extreme stance the regime is adopting ahead of the talks. It is insisting that the U.S. lift all economic sanctions, including those concerning non-nuclear violations of international norms, as a precondition for an Iranian return to the terms of the agreement. And it is demanding that President Joe Biden provide an ironclad guarantee that a future occupant of the White House won’t pull a Donald Trump and rescind the deal. If the first of these terms is absurd, the second is impossible.

Why, one might reasonably ask, has Iran agreed to resume talks at all? Because the regime reckons that as long as it keeps talking, the Biden administration will cling to hope that a nuclear deal can be achieved and hold off on imposing more sanctions. Intermittent and interminable negotiations give the Islamic Republic cover to keep enriching uranium at ever faster rates, in breach of its JCPOA obligations.

Read more at Bloomberg

More about: European Union, Iran nuclear program, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy

Iran’s Four-Decade Strategy to Envelope Israel in Terror

Yesterday, the head of the Shin Bet—Israel’s internal security service—was in Washington meeting with officials from the State Department, CIA, and the White House itself. Among the topics no doubt discussed are rising tensions with Iran and the possibility that the latter, in order to defend its nuclear program, will instruct its network of proxies in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and even Iraq and Yemen to attack the Jewish state. Oved Lobel explores the history of this network, which, he argues, predates Iran’s Islamic Revolution—when Shiite radicals in Lebanon coordinated with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s movement in Iran:

An inextricably linked Iran-Syria-Palestinian axis has actually been in existence since the early 1970s, with Lebanon the geographical fulcrum of the relationship and Damascus serving as the primary operational headquarters. Lebanon, from the 1980s until 2005, was under the direct military control of Syria, which itself slowly transformed from an ally to a client of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The nexus among Damascus, Beirut, and the Palestinian territories should therefore always have been viewed as one front, both geographically and operationally. It’s clear that the multifront-war strategy was already in operation during the first intifada years, from 1987 to 1993.

[An] Iranian-organized conference in 1991, the first of many, . . . established the “Damascus 10”—an alliance of ten Palestinian factions that rejected any peace process with Israel. According to the former Hamas spokesperson and senior official Ibrahim Ghosheh, he spoke to then-Hizballah Secretary-General Abbas al-Musawi at the conference and coordinated Hizballah attacks from Lebanon in support of the intifada. Further important meetings between Hamas and the Iranian regime were held in 1999 and 2000, while the IRGC constantly met with its agents in Damascus to encourage coordinated attacks on Israel.

For some reason, Hizballah’s guerilla war against Israel in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s was, and often still is, viewed as a separate phenomenon from the first intifada, when they were in fact two fronts in the same battle.

Israel opted for a perilous unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon in May 2000, which Hamas’s Ghosheh asserts was a “direct factor” in precipitating the start of the second intifada later that same year.

Read more at Australia/Israel Review

More about: First intifada, Hizballah, Iran, Palestinian terror, Second Intifada