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.
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.
[Please click below to continue reading]