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.

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Read more at Bloomberg

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

 

Reforms to Israel’s Judiciary Must Be Carefully Calibrated

The central topic of debate in Israel now is the new coalition government’s proposed reforms of the nation’s judiciary and unwritten constitution. Peter Berkowitz agrees that reform is necessary, but that “the proper scope and pace of reform, however, are open to debate and must be carefully calibrated.”

In particular, Berkowitz argues,

to preserve political cohesiveness, substantial changes to the structure of the Israeli regime must earn support that extends beyond these partisan divisions.

In a deft analysis of the conservative spirit in Israel, bestselling author Micah Goodman warns in the Hebrew language newspaper Makor Rishon that unintended consequences flowing from the constitutional counterrevolution are likely to intensify political instability. When a center-left coalition returns to power, Goodman points out, it may well repeal through a simple majority vote the major changes Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition seeks to enact. Or it may use the legislature’s expanded powers, say, to ram through laws that impair the religious liberty of the ultra-Orthodox. Either way, in a torn nation, constitutional counterrevolution amplifies division.

Conservatives make a compelling case that balance must be restored to the separation of powers in Israel. A prudent concern for the need to harmonize Israel’s free, democratic, and Jewish character counsels deliberation in the pursuit of necessary constitutional reform.

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Read more at RealClearPolitics

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Judicial Reform