Current Events & Trends: Iran nuclear talks extended

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Iran nuclear talks extended

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As The Wall Street Journal reported: "After 14 months of negotiations, the two sides were unable to bridge gaps on two key issues: the future size of Iran's nuclear-fuel production capacity and the pace at which sanctions will be lifted . . . The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran's nuclear work is aimed toward producing a weapon, something Tehran has repeatedly denied" (Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman, "Iran, World Powers Fail to Reach Nuclear Agreement by Deadline: Talks Extended for Seven Months," Nov. 24, 2014).

It was pointed out at Power Line Blog that "this development is being reported as 'no deal,' but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, it makes no concessions. Instead, the status quo is maintained with regard to Iran's nuclear program" (Paul Mirengoff, "Iran's Win-Win," Nov. 24).

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lobbied for the extension, arguing, "The nuclear program in Iran as we negotiate is frozen" (quoted by Solomon and Norman). But this seems like wishful thinking.

Another summary in The Wall Street Journal noted: "The sharpest worry about giving Tehran more time is that it will continue research on its centrifuges so that it can produce much more powerful technology in the future. That would significantly cut the time Iran would need to produce enough material to fuel an atomic bomb" (Laurence Norman, "5 Things to Know About What Comes Next in Iran Nuclear Talks," Nov. 24).

Following the announcement of the extension, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said in an address to his nation "that the extension was a victory, adding negotiations will lead to a deal, 'sooner or later'" (quoted by Solomon and Norman).

Moreover, as The New York Times reported, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued these remarks: "In the nuclear issue, America and colonial European countries got together and did their best to bring the Islamic Republic to its knees, but they could not do so—and they will not be able to do so" (quoted by Thomas Erdbrink, "Breaking Silence, Ayatollah Says Iran Is Standing Up to West in Nuclear Talks," Nov. 25). This is the same leader who shortly before this went on a Twitter tirade against Israel, posting, "This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated" (quoted at The Blaze, Nov. 9, 2014).

The Iranian Resistance criticized the entire process: "Continuing with negotiations which have been going on for 12 years, instead of decisiveness and intensifying sanctions, amounts to taking a path which will inevitably lead to the acquisition of a nuclear bomb. This is the repeat of the same policies and mistakes which have brought the mullahs so close to obtaining a nuclear bomb" (National Council of Resistance of Iran, Nov. 24).

Meanwhile, a number of Republican members of the U.S. Congress, who assume control of the legislature as of January 2015, have expressed the need for tighter sanctions. "Now more than ever, it's critical that Congress enacts sanctions that give Iran's mullahs no choice but to dismantle their illicit nuclear program," Senator Mark Kirk said in a statement. "Congress will not give Iran more time to build a nuclear bomb" (quoted in "US Congress Skeptical of Iran Nuclear Talks Extension, Agence France-Presse, Nov. 24, 2014). Likewise House Speaker John Boehner said, "Instead of giving Iran more flexibility, we should be holding this regime accountable for the threat it poses to the region."

In reality it does not seem that this threat will be arrested by talks or sanctions. The Iranian leadership's desire to acquire nuclear weapons is driven by a fanatical aim to start global war in order to bring about the end of the world with the appearance on the world scene of the Shiite 12th imam as the Islamic savior, the Mahdi. How does one negotiate with that? (Sources: Agence France-Presse, The Blaze, National Council of Resistance of Iran, The New York Times, Power Line Blog, The Wall Street Journal.)

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