Why there is still no Iran nuke deal in Vienna, by Pepe Escobar

Consider this a back to back special on the ongoing Iranian Nuclear negotiations. If you have not already read Pepe’s last piece, then please do here for some background.

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Source: Asia Times

VIENNA – As the Iran-P5+1 negotiation hit the crucial stage on Monday night, and the technical teams pushed for a clean text to be released on Tuesday – albeit unsuccessfully – the top sticking point turned out to be the conventional arms embargo imposed on Iran by the UNSC, a senior European diplomat told Asia Times.

BRICS members Russia and China had a coordinated position; “yes” to the end of the embargo. The US and the UK voted “no.” And, crucially, France was wavering.

If this was a decision solely in the hands of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the vote would be “no.” But arguably if the final decision rests with President Francois Hollande, it would be a “yes.” There is nothing the French weapons industry would like better than to add Tehran to its still meager list of customers for Rafales and Mistrals.

Turning to the Big Picture, Iranian diplomats were stressing that, “all nuclear-related sanctions should be removed. That was agreed upon in Lausanne.” This means the conventional arms embargo – imposed by the UN in 2007, and tied up in the nuclear sanctions – should also go.

So what was reported by Asia Times early this week continued to apply; there are severe cracks within the P5+1 on several key issues — thus their need to spend more time negotiating amongst themselves than with Iran.

That’s the key reason for a new deadline extension — to Thursday, July 9. And even that may not be the end of the road.

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Iran nuke deal — what’s behind the new Vienna deadline, by Pepe Escobar

Unparalleled insight from one of the most well known geopolitical analysts around, Pepe is absolutely a pleasure to read!

This is the closest you will get to the negotiating table.

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Source: Asia Times

VIENNA – The decision mechanism at the UN Security Council (UNSC) is the main sticking point preventing a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 being reached this Tuesday, a top Iranian official told Asia Times.

This is directly related to “the credibility of the UNSC at stake,” after “so many imposed resolutions” considered as unjust and illegal by Tehran.

Iranian diplomats insist on a “fundamental shift” at the UNSC; “The Iranian file should not have been sent to the UNSC in the first place,” says another official. And here Iranian diplomats open a complex discussion on two fronts; the politicization of the IAEA, and the UNSC being used to arbitrate on an eminently technical dossier.

So it’s no wonder that for Iran, the removal of past UN resolutions is considered “only as a starting point.”

Iran has floated the idea of a UN resolution revoking all previous sanctions immediately after the announcement of a deal in Vienna. Iranian negotiator Abbas Araghchi had advanced on Iranian TV the idea that a deal — including the annexes — could be endorsed by the UNSC as early as this week.

That’s extremely unlikely; the US Senate would go ballistic — as in US sovereignty being seriously compromised. This does not prevent the fact that the extremely sensitive text of a UN resolution erasing all previous sanctions is being discussed at the negotiating table in Vienna.

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