Deal To Curb Iranian Nuclear Development Progresses – For A Moment

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius put the brakes on negotiations to ease sanctions on Iran one day after it appeared there was a breakthrough in efforts to constrict the regime’s nuclear weapons program.

Fabius raised questions about whether the deal was sufficient to curb a nuclear reactor that will produce plutonium.

“Hopes that a deal was at hand surged when Mr. Kerry cut short a trip to the Middle East to fly to Geneva on Friday. But he, too, sought to temper expectations, saying after he arrived that an agreement had not yet been reached and that gaps needed to be narrowed. On Saturday, Mr. Kerry made no comment before his meeting with Mr. Zarif,” reports The New York Times.

Eli Lake of The Daily Beast unveils the story of how the US decision to suspend sanctions on Iran is not a new development.

Lake writes that Treasury Department notices reveal the administration has been slowly backing off enforcement of the sanctions and stopping the financial blacklisting of entities aiding Iran since the election of its president, Hassan Rouhani, in June.

“On Wednesday Obama said in an interview with NBC News the negotiations in Geneva “are not about easing sanctions.” “The negotiations taking place are about how Iran begins to meet its international obligations and provide assurances not just to us but to the entire world,” the president said.

“But it has also long been Obama’s strategy to squeeze Iran’s economy until Iran would be willing to trade relief from sanctions for abandoning key elements of its nuclear program,” reveals Lake.

Secretary of State John Kerry cautioned that there remain differences in what the US and Europe wants from an agreement with Iran,

Israeli officials were quick to voice their objections, but so too were members of Congress.

Many expressed their concern with any move to ease sanctions without specific conditions placed on Iran. The Daily Beast reports that Sen. John Corker is preparing legislation to prohibit the administration from moving forward without real concessions from the Rouhani government.

“If Iran intends to show good faith during these talks, it must at a minimum abide by United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for a halt to enrichment, and it is my hope that we achieve much more,” said Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.) in a statement Friday. “I forcefully reject any notion that Iran has a ‘right’ to enrichment, a view which the administration has publicly articulated on numerous occasions.”

Britain Weighs Plans To Mark Centenary Of World War I Dan Jarvis, a Member of Parliament, and Richard Grayson, a professor of history at the University of London, offer their thoughts on how Britain should mark the centenary of the First World War.

They suggest expanding the scope of the exhibition beyond the Western Front and highlight how the war was fought in the Dardanelles, Italy, in Africa and China. They also advise taking a more comprehensive view of how the actual soldiers viewed their mission and the cause for which they were fighting.

“Just as today our forces in Afghanistan take a pride in the job they do, and the bonds of service which they form, the same applied to   those who fought in 1914-18. In those years, soldiers fought for much: a belief that their country was threatened, the rights of small nations, and when it came down to it, the man next to them in the trench. If we want to pay proper tribute to the dead of the war, and those who came through it, we would do well to remember that,” they write.

 

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