Mark Collins – Iran Nuke Deal, or, the Ayatollah Says…

…I demand a lot.  First at Foreign Policy’sSituation Report“:

With just a week to go before the final deadline [hah!] for Iran and world powers to reach an agreement on the future of Tehran’s nuclear program, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday issued a new set of demands. Like previous instances where Khamenei jumped into the fray with talk of tough “red lines,” the new demands sit far outside the realm of what the West would offer the Islamic Republic in the current negotiations. In a televised speech, Khamenei said economic sanctions imposed on Tehran should be lifted immediately after a deal is signed, and ruled out freezing Iran’s controversial nuclear work for an extended period of time. In an email to FP’s John Hudson, a senior U.S. administration official said that Washington wouldn’t move the goalposts this late in the game…

Then at Defense One’sD-Brief“:

Iran’s Supreme Leader just threw another wrinkle into the ongoing negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program,
NYT’s reports. The biggest new wrinkle stems from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s insistence that a lifting of sanctions not occur in line with Iran’s dismantling of centrifuges. He also ruled out freezing Iran’s nuclear enrichment for a decade—contrary to a preliminary agreement reached in April—and he objected to “unconventional inspections, interrogating certain Iranian individuals and inspecting military sites.” Analysts view the Ayatollah’s statements as an unsurprising appeal to Tehran’s hardliners and military leaders.

So what now? “It is possible that Iran will reach an understanding with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia, but not ‘sign’ the agreement for months,” NYT’s Thomas Erdbrink and David Sanger write. “That would give Iran time to come into compliance with the terms, allowing President Obama to ‘lift’ oil and financial sanctions on the first day of the accord.”..

Bonne chance, Secretary Kerry–and POTUS.

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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