Nuclear Negotiations Spinning Down The Toilet

New Khamenei Demands Make Tough Iranian Nuke Talks Even Tougher 

Iranian Horns: Khamenei and Khomenei

Iranian Horns: Khamenei and Khomenei

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has laid out an unusually detailed set of demands for what he would accept in a nuclear deal, further complicating the high-stakes efforts to reach an agreement before a July 20 deadline.

Khamenei’s declaration that any nuclear deal preserve Tehran’s right to enrich uranium on an industrial scale to fuel its long-term energy needs echoes what Iranian negotiators have said throughout the talks, which began in earnest last year and are currently continuing in Vienna. Still, by drawing a red line in public, a rarity for Iran’s top cleric, Khamenei signaled that Tehran wasn’t prepared to accede to Western demands that it sharply curtail its enrichment activities. The United States and its allies have long accused Tehran of trying to produce weapons-grade uranium to build a weapon, a charge Khamenei has repeatedly denied.

The remarks come amid signs of disunity among big-power diplomats as talks near a self-imposed July 20 deadline for a deal between Iran and the permanent five members of the Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States — plus Germany, which are negotiating collectively as the P5+1.

Speaking to senior-level technocrats on Monday, Khamenei said Iran signaled that Tehran would eventually need up to 190,000 centrifuges, depending on their sophistication — far more than the 10,000 he says world powers are willing to allow Tehran to acquire. Western governments want to curb Iran’s nuclear enrichment capacity in order to inhibit its ability to develop a nuclear bomb. Tehran insists it wants such a large quantity for peaceful purposes, such as medical isotopes and nuclear energy.

“On the issue of enrichment capacity, [the West’s] aim is make Iran accept 10,000 SWU,” Khamenei said, using an acronym for a highly technical term, “separative work units,” that measures how much uranium individual centrifuges can enrich in a year. “Our officials say we need 190,000 SWU…. [T]his is our absolute need and we need to meet this need.”

Iran hawks said Khamenei’s insistence that Iran have greater enrichment capacity was an attempt to force the United States and its allies into a bad deal.

“Khamenei is trying to trap the United States by demanding industrial-size enrichment capacity,” said Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Khamenei’s comments came as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told a parliamentary committee in Paris on Monday that countries within the P5+1 were beginning to disagree about the makeup of a final deal with Iran. Fabius said the Western powers had previously been “very homogeneous” in their negotiations with Iran, but that “in the past days representatives in the negotiations have put forward a certain number of different approaches between part of the P5+1 and our Russian partners.”

Fabius didn’t spell out the West’s differences with Moscow, which has traditionally been more sympathetic to Iran than those in the Western camp. Some Western officials have long feared that Washington’s confrontation with Moscow over its annexation of Crimea would make Russian President Vladimir Putin even more willing to break with the West over Iran.

Still, the French foreign minister hinted that there was some daylight between the countries over whether to call in senior government officials to put the talks back on track or leave things in the hands of mid-level diplomats. Speaking before France’s parliamentary foreign affairs committee, Fabius said the Obama administration has a “desire” to carry out a meeting of foreign ministers before the July 20 deadline. “I don’t have a strong view on it, but at one point between now and July 20 we shall know where we stand,” he said.

The talks currently underway in Vienna are centered on a deal that would require Iran to provide verifiable assurances that its nuclear program is limited to fueling the country’s energy needs in exchange for easing international sanctions.

Fabius said that “none of the primary points [of contention] have been resolved,” including the fate of a heavy water reactor at Arak that Western powers fear could be used to produce plutonium, as well as procedures for monitoring Iran’s compliance with any nuclear deal and easing sanctions.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that “significant gaps remain with Iran” but stressed that the P5+1 countries remained united on how to proceed in the talks.

Despite Khamenei’s demands, Laicie Heeley of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation said that it’s natural for both sides to stake out hard-line positions before a final deal is struck.

“At this point we should realize that we’re still very much involved in a negotiation, and each side is likely to hold out for compromise as long as it can,” she said. “In the end, they’ll both have to move.”

Antichrist Mounts Pressure To Take Over Iraq (Revelation 13:11)

Sadr Adds To Pressure On Maliki To Step Down

By RÛDAW 7/7/2014

Moqtada al-Sadr 7/14
Moqtada al-Sadr 7/14

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – In the days since the new Iraqi parliament broke up in disarray last week, Nuri al-Maliki, the embattled prime minister, is under mounting pressure to quit following the defection of a former key Shiite ally.

Muqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shiite cleric and political leader, issued a statement urging the prime minister’s coalition to withdraw its backing for his bid for a third term and to pick another candidate.

In the statement posted on his website late on Saturday, the cleric blamed the prime minister for the current security and political crisis. “It is necessary to demonstrate the national and paternal spirit by aiming for a higher, wider goal from individuals and blocs and by that I mean changing the candidates”, he said.

The first inaugural session of the Iraqi parliament broke down last week amid divisions among Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish MPs. They failed to pick Iraq’s new leaders, and the session was adjourned by acting speaking Mahdi Hafidh. The 328-seat chamber has the task of choosing a new president as well as a prime minister.

Maliki’s State of Law coalition won the greatest number of votes in elections at the end of April, which should have assured him a third four-year term in office. However, the seizure of Iraq’s second city of Mosul last month by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) prompted pressure for the prime minister, seen as increasingly inflexible in the face of the crisis, to withdraw.

The United Nations estimates that 2,417 people were killed in Iraq in June and 2,287 injured, the highest monthly casualty toll since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Sadr said he was still convinced a new candidate should be drawn from the State of Law coalition, “because it is the biggest bloc within the National Alliance,” a reference to an alliance that groups the main Shiite parties.

Among other politicians calling for Maliki to step down is Iyad Allawi, a former prime minister who said a third term could lead to the division of Iraq. Abroad, Washington has signaled it would like to see Maliki make way for another candidate and former British prime minister Tony Blair has also urged him to quit.

Blair, who supported the 2003 invasion, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a change of government was needed. “It would be much easier for the United States and others if there was in Iraq a government which was genuinely inclusive,” he said.

Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), has also urged Maliki to step aside and has meanwhile announced a referendum on Kurdish independence in the light of the deteriorating situation.

The parliament in Baghdad must also select a national president to replace the outgoing Jalal Talebani, a Kurd. The most likely Kurdish nominee for the post is Barham Salih, the former KRG prime minister.

Iran Will INCREASE Uranium Enrichment (Revelation 15)

Teheran should increase N-enrichment: Khamenei

Uranium Enrichment

Uranium Enrichment

DUBAI/VIENNA Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Iran would need to significantly increase its uranium enrichment capacity, underlining a gap in positions between Teheran and world powers as they hold talks aimed at clinching a nuclear accord.

Iran and six major powers – the US, Russia, France, Germany, China and Britain – have less than two weeks to bridge wide differences on the future scope of Iran’s enrichment programme and other issues if they are to meet a self-imposed July 20 deadline for a deal.

They resumed talks in Vienna last week and their negotiators continued meetings in the Austrian capital on Tuesday; but there was no immediate sign of any substantive progress.

Iran insists it needs to expand its capacity to refine uranium to fuel a planned network of atomic energy plants. The powers say Teheran must sharply reduce the capacity to prevent it being able to quickly produce a nuclear bomb using uranium enriched to a far higher degree.  “Their aim is that we accept a capacity of 10,000 separative work units (SWUs), which is equivalent to 10,000 centrifuges of the older type that we already have. Our officials say we need 190,000 SWU. Perhaps this is not a need this year or in two years or five years, but this is the country’s absolute need,” Khamenei said in a statement published on his website late on Monday.

An SWU is a measurement of the effort necessary for the separation of isotopes of uranium.

Iran says its programme is for civilian purposes such as electricity generation and denies any ambitions to build an atomic bomb.

Iran expert Ali Vaez said the negotiations were now at a precarious stage.

Last week, other Western diplomats said Iran had reduced demands for the size of its future nuclear enrichment programme in the negotiations, although Western governments were urging Tehran to compromise further. They did not give details.

Separately, France’s foreign minister hinted at divergences between Russia and Western countries currently involved in a decisive final round of talks with Iran to negotiate a deal on its nuclear drive, says a Paris report. “Whereas until now the P5+1 had a very homogeneous attitude, in the past days representatives in the negotiations have put forward a certain number of different approaches between part of the 5+1 and our Russian partners,” Fabius told a parliamentary commission.