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March 26, 2015 10:47 pm

On Iran Nuclear Deal, Watchdog Says Collapse of White House Demand for Verification in Line With Previous Capitulations

avatar by David Daoud

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The United States may have backtracked its position on Iran once again. PHOTO: Wikipedia.

A Washington DC based watchdog monitoring US nuclear negotiations with Iran has said that the White House’s latest backpedaling on its negotiating positions follows a consistent trend.

In a statement to reporters, The Israel Project pointed to a Wall Street Journal report by Carol Lee about the deferment of a previously stated US demand that Iran resolve “questions concerning the possible military dimensions” (PMDs) of its atomic program at the front end of an agreement.

“Lee’s piece was specific to PMDs, but she could have written a near-identical column on centrifuges, heavy water work, and ballistic missile development,” the statement said.

The report comes as the negotiations hit yet another stumbling block before the fast-approaching March 31st deadline after Tehran refused to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether Iran had tried to build atomic weapons in the past.

In response, say individuals close to  the negotiations, the United States and the rest of the P5+1 are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before a final deal is signed.

Instead, the United States and its negotiating partners are now seeking Iran’s upfront approval on a 12-step work-plan to resolve questions related to their weaponization work. This new plan backpedals from previous stances, now seeking access to only some of Iran’s sites and documents believed to be tied to the “possible military dimensions” (PMDs) of Tehran’s nuclear program.

The new plan wouldn’t require Iran to immediately address the outstanding issues raised by the IAEA’s 2011 report on Iran’s nuclear program, requiring a full and detailed explanation of these activities only in the later years of the nuclear deal, which now looks like it will last 15 years. Essentially, this would be a move by the administration allowing Iran to put off disclosures until the pressure from sanctions has been lifted.

Analysts see this as another instance in the United States’ backpedalling on their demands from Iran regarding its nuclear program. The Israel Project, further noted that, “PMD disclosure is about baselining all of Iran’s nuclear activities – not just its known civilian parts – as a prerequisite for verifying that those activities have been halted under a nuclear deal,” and removing that disclosure would leave international inspective bodies virtually blind about whether Iran is continuing down developing the military aspects of its program.

This change of direction from the United States comes after the White House had assured law-makers over the course of the past year that they would deliver tangible and significant concessions from Iran regarding the PMDs and verification.

This latest capitulation follows on a series of increasingly permissible Western stances on Iran’s nuclear program.

What started in 2004 as a demand for permanent termination of uranium enrichment, changed the following year into allowing Iran to continue some enrichment at low-enriched uranium levels (LEU), i.e., less than 20 percent. Then instead, in 2009, Iran was asked to  ship most of its LEU abroad to be turned into fuel rods with 20 percent enriched uranium, in addition to dropping the initial insistence that Iran halt fuel-cycle activities before proceeding to negotiations. In 2013, that position again changed, allowing Iran to keep enough 20 percent enriched uranium to run a research reactor while only suspending operations at its Fordow facility, despite previous demands that the facility be shut down. At that point, Iran promised to give up half of its 20 percent enriched uranium through a circuitous route, pledging to convert it into a form which could easily be reconverted to its original form, and it has retained the means of doing so.

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  • I agree with the president that negotiating is better than going to war – and especially now, when we’re so war-weary – but Barack Obama does not understand that in negotiation, both (or all) sides have to do some giving and some taking; he seems to understand only capitulation. Any deal with Iran should include the most thorough verification. If that doesn’t work, or is impossible, then stricter sanctions, or yes, even military action has to be considered.

  • Rachelle Ernst

    Why aren’t the Constitutional scholars in the U.S. protesting Obama’s circumvention of Congressional oversight? The Founding Fathers of America are turning in the their graves that a U.S. President is shredding the very foundation of the country for which generations have died. Obama was not elected King. He is the servant of the citizenry.

  • Jonathan Ernst

    Is anyone surprised that the U.S. under Obama’s leadership is capitulating?

    One of the reasons Obama has failed as a President domestically, is because he has weak negotiating skills and was unable to forge productive deals with Republicans.

    The issue here is that Obama isn’t negotiating on behalf of America, he is negotiating his legacy and he is desperate. A desperate negotiator dealing with a desperate terrorist regime? God help us.

  • David Most

    The analogies drawn by many between John Kerry and Neville Chamberlain (1938)are getting better and better. Baarak Obama is prepared to accept Iran as a nuclear power but is playing games with the Persian bazaar merchants who will leave him with only his underwear, if anything at all.

    He has managed to totally alienate our Saudi and Egyptian allies not to menntion his total bullying of Israel.

    We elected him twice so the shame is ours!

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    What can one say about Obama and his allies? How many ways can one say stupid, weak, scared, lousy negotiators, cowards, hypocrites, and totally undeserving to lead even a dog on a leash. I never believe in the resurrection but now I do. I believe that Chamberlain and Daladier are alive and well once again.

  • Philip

    Obama’s softening on his positions on Iran and even his opening up of Cuba and his immature positron on Israel leads one to suspect that the anti-American Progressive movement has influenced him and the Democratic party in the most irresponsible and negative way.

  • HaroldT

    When does Obama get the Chamberlain award?

  • When we have to rely on the likes of an Obama or Kerry we’re in trouble. Neither of them have a clue. They both want legacies. If Congress doesn’t get involved, we’ll be once again in deep crap for years and years to come.
    The inmates have again taken over the asylum.

  • Michael Schwartz

    Looks like Obama is working on behalf of Iran, not the United States. This appears to be a carte blanche for Iran to develop nuclear weapons without any real obstacles to its doing so. Sounds not just like “backpedalling”—it is more like total capitulation by Messrs. Obama and Kerry.

  • art

    Besides Kerrys’ fequent flyer miles what has the US got 1/2 yrs of negotiations with iran? G. Iran has bought additional time to build up its nuke program with US protection The so called sanctions have crumbled. Once again Obama has retreated from one Redline” after another Obama has stood silent while the iranians have literally spit in his face. While Obama/Kerry were telling US that progress was being made on the talks the leaders of iran were chanting “death to America”. Obama has lied to the American people time and again assuring US that iran could be trusted.
    Obama has again folded before hostile resistance. Obama is only tough beating up and betraying friends

  • Bruce Richardson

    It appears to me that the Obama administration is now only negotiating the time table for Iran developing nuclear weapons. Removing the sanctions will likely facilitate Iran’s development of those weapons.

    Iran’s long term goal is still the destruction of Israel. And death to the United States as the Ayatollah Khomeini recently reconfirmed.

    Israel has nuclear weapons which she has never used. Does anyone seriously expect that Israel would not respond in kind to a nuclear attack by Iran. Or for that matter, that the United States won’t respond in kind to a nuclear attack by Iran against the United States military or the United States homeland?



  • Iran is exhibiting behaviour which puts its trustworthiness into doubt. This is all the more worrisome because one feels that Iran would USE the bomb if it possessed it.

    The Jewish state has been proclaimed pariah by Iran many times. The ‘Zionist entity’ might be it first target.

    It is painful in the extreme to even consider these possibilities but European powers should be well aware that with something as ephemeral as wind blowing ‘the wrong way’, vast swathes of European civilization would be simultaneously at risk too.

    For even this reason, it is important Iran does not get the bomb.

  • Emanuel

    weak, weak, weak WH.

  • Lynne T

    “The report comes as the negotiations hit yet another stumbling block before the fast-approaching March 31st deadline after Tehran refused to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether Iran had tried to build atomic weapons in the past.”

    Argentina and the assassination of Alberto Nisman, anyone?

  • Luigi Rosolin

    Iran had take the EU and USA by the nose because Obama administration is guide by a Muslim that is guiding the USA.

  • Matt

    They can build a bomb in 3 months and we would not know. No thanks, 6,000 centrifuge. Upgrade centrifuges to laser, no Arak second stream.

  • David Kohn

    In five, (or maybe two) years, when Iran has an atom bomb on the launching pad (or maybe a day or two later), won’t we all say, “We should have known – how did they get away with this?
    And in another five (or maybe two) days, won’t we (those who are left) say, We should have known.” And those who aren’t left will look down and say, “We know.”

  • יואל נצרים

    ×–×” מה שאני מרגיש על הקפיטולציות האמריקנית למשטר האיראני : חוסם עורק יש להחיל גם ×’’ון קרי והמקרה החמור של ברק אובמה מדלקת אשכים , כך שהם יכולים להרגיש את מה שהם עושים לעולם החופשי !

  • The Saudis will take care of Iran. They have the Al-Solayil missile base with 120 Dong Feng missiles, nuclear tipped courtesy of Pakistan. It’s in my third book: “Islamic Threat Updates Almanac #1.”

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  • I guess Iran sees these countries drooling and trying not to wet them selves over getting sanctions dropped and Corporate into Iran legally. Iran knows, obviously,that the $$$ is more important than their Nucs in the short term.

  • Americas logic would be equating Irans bomb with the sunni bombs of Pakistan. Hence they would not prevent Iran producing nuclear bombs.

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  • steven L

    This was always the intention of this President who has long ago embraced the fanatical and genocidal rhetoric of the Mullahs.
    This is his way to express his love of the country and democracy!!!
    Only 20 months to go.
    With Hilary it may get even worst.

  • Michael Palmer

    My fear is that President Obama may go down in History as the 21st century version of Neville Chamberlain. The deal with Iran may lead to a Nuclear Proliferation in the most unstable area of the world. Saudia Arabia, Turkey and Egypt will soon be going nuclear too.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Obama and Kerry just will not stop lying!

  • Yale

    Barack Obama is a lot more clever than we have been giving him credit for.

    Reports that may be later than the above suggest the deal is going to be a non-binding **verbal** agreement. He has done what may have seemed impossible: he got both a bad deal and no deal at the same time.

  • 2


  • Ephraim

    Once and for all. Our jihadist-in-chief is doing what has always been his intentions all along, to give Iran total relief from sanctions in exchange for nothing. By the time Iran is ready to send its first nuclear weapons to ‘the great Satan,’ Obama will not be living in the US.

    In years to come, he will replace Benedict Arnold as the worst traitor in US history, in the minds of the public. In fact, he HAS eclipsed Arnold’s treachery.

  • Dov

    Seems that America and President Obama have capitulated and surrendered.

  • Signing a nuclear deal with Iran is on President Obama’s “Legacy List.” However, signing a foolish nuclear deal with Iran will make it on the President’s growing “Blunders List.” And we sorely need statesmen who understand the times.