Iran Ready To Seal The Deal (Revelation 6:1)

DUBAI/MUNICH

Iraqi women walk past a poster depicting images of Shi'ite Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at al-Firdous Square in Baghdad February 12, 2014. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad/Files

Iraqi women walk past a poster depicting images of Shi’ite Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at al-Firdous Square in Baghdad February 12, 2014.

(Reuters) – Iran’s supreme leader said on Sunday he could accept a compromise in nuclear talks and gave his strongest defense yet of President Hassan Rouhani’s decision to negotiate with the West, a policy opposed by powerful hardliners at home.

As his foreign minister met counterparties in the talks at a conference in Munich, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he “firmly” backed a fair nuclear deal.

“I would go along with any agreement that could be made. Of course, if it is not a bad deal. No agreement is better than an agreement which runs contrary to our nation’s interests,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Iranian air force personnel, according to official news agencies.

In a speech that still underlined his suspicions about Western nations that he characterized as “bullies”, Khamenei backed Rouhani’s negotiations with them and said any workable deal would mean both sides easing their demands.

“As the president said, negotiations mean reaching a common point. Therefore, the other party … should not expect its illogical expectations to be materialized. This means that one side would not end up getting all it wants.”

“I am for reaching a good settlement and the Iranian nation too will certainly not oppose any deal to uphold its dignity and integrity,” Khamenei said, an apparent warning to hardliners that they might have to accept a deal with powers including the United States, commonly known in Iran as “the Great Satan”.

Negotiators have set a June 30 final deadline for an accord, and Western officials have said they aim to agree on the substance of such a deal by March.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will address the U.S. Congress on Iran on March 3 — to the annoyance of the Obama administration — said: “We will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement.”

“World powers and Iran are charging ahead to an agreement that would allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weaponry, something that would imperil the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting.

“IRANIANS KNOW”

The nuclear talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and France are aimed at clinching an accord that would ease Western concerns that Tehran could pursue a convert nuclear weapons program, in return for the lifting of sanctions that have ravaged the Iranian economy.

Major sticking points are the pace at which sanctions would be removed, the size of Iran’s nuclear fuel-producing capacity — a key consideration in preventing any output of bomb material — and the length of any agreement.

“Our (nuclear) negotiators are trying to take the weapon of sanctions away from the enemy. If they can, so much the better. If they fail, everyone should know there are many ways at our disposal to dull this weapon,” Khamenei said.

Any deal “must be concluded in one stage and consist of clear and detailed specifications, and not subject to (various) interpretations,” he said.

“Given our past experience in dealing with the (West), a final draft must not leave any room for the other side to repeatedly extract concessions.”

Separately, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied on Sunday a Reuters report quoting unidentified senior Iranian officials saying he had told the United States during the talks that Rouhani’s political clout would be heavily damaged if negotiations failed.

“I believe the entire Iranian population understands that this government, that Dr Rouhani, his administration and the government in its entirety supported our efforts in the negotiations,” Zarif told a security conference in Munich where he met counterparties in the negotiations, in what he called a “very serious discussion”.

“Everybody has taken every necessary measure to make sure we succeed. All Iranians know this. If we fail, and I hope we won’t, they (Iranians) will not consider us responsible for that failure. They will consider attempts (to ask) too much from Iran as a reason for failure.”

Zarif said it was in everyone’s interest to seal an agreement by the June 30 deadline, but added: “I don’t think if we don’t have an agreement it will be the end of the world.”

U.S. Senator John McCain, a hawkish Republican, warned in Munich that while Iran was negotiating now, its underlying goal was “to drive Western influence out of the Middle East”.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Brown and Noah Barkin in Munich, Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Writing by Stephen Brown; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Robin Pomeroy)

Israel Is Way Too Late, The Deal Is Done (Daniel 8)

Israel “will do everything to thwart” Iran nuclear deal

hqdefault
CBS/AP
Last Updated Feb 8, 2015 8:45 AM EST

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will do everything it can to prevent world powers from reaching a “bad and dangerous deal” with Iran over its disputed nuclear program.
He told a weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday that with the United States and Iran aiming for a framework agreement next month, “we will do everything to thwart a bad and dangerous deal that will cast a dark cloud on the future of the state of Israel and its security.”

The Israeli leader has repeatedly said Iran is acting in bad faith in the negotiations.

The United States, the other members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany hope to clinch a deal setting long-term limits on Tehran’s uranium enrichment.

Netanyahu’s comments come amid an uproar over his planned speech about Iran before the U.S. Congress next month. The visit was arranged behind the White House’s back. U.S. Congressional leaders have also threatened to levy new sanctions against Iran before negotiations have concluded, something the White House and world leaders have railed against.

With an approaching deadline on reaching a nuclear deal with Tehran, Iranian officials on Sunday signaled a willingness to come to an agreement, with Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif telling a gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials that “this is the opportunity.”

Additionally, Iran’s paramount leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday he and the Iranian people “firmly” backed a nuclear compromise with the West, his strongest signal to date that he is behind Tehran’s negotiations with six major powers, according to Reuters.

“I am for the continuation of the talks and reaching a good agreement. Definitely, the Iranian nation will not oppose any accord that upholds its dignity and respect,” Khamenei said in an official statement IRNA news agency.

But Khamenei added that any agreement must be “in one stage”, incorporate all details and allow no “loopholes” that could be used to extract further concessions from Tehran.

The United States and its five negotiating partners, the other members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, hope to clinch a deal setting long-term limits on Tehran’s enrichment of uranium and other activity that could produce material for use in nuclear weapons.

Both sides are under increasing pressure ahead of two deadlines: to agree on main points by late March, and to reach a comprehensive deal by June 30.

Zarif said that now was the window of opportunity to come up with a final deal. He met individually at the Munich security conference with each country involved, except France which was scheduled later Sunday.

“This is the opportunity to do it, and we need to seize this opportunity,” he said. “It may not be repeated.”

Following a 90-minute morning meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, their second meeting on the sidelines of the conference, Zarif said he felt that progress had been made in the past months and suggested it would be unproductive to further extend negotiations.

“I do not believe another extension is in the interest of anybody,” he said. “We’re reaching the point where it is quite possible to make an agreement … and I do not believe anything will be different a year down the road.”

The U.S. State Department characterized Sunday’s discussion between Zarif and Kerry as “constructive.” In their meeting on Friday, Kerry pressed Zarif on the Obama administration’s desire to meet an end of March target date for the outline of a nuclear agreement.

Iran says its program is solely for energy production and medical research purposes. It has agreed to some restrictions in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from U.S. economic sanctions.

From Tehran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all major decisions,
said in a statement on his website Sunday that Iran agrees with Washington that no agreement is better than an agreement that doesn’t meet its interests.

Zarif suggested if it took slightly longer to come to an agreement than the set deadlines, it would not “be the end of the world.”

Zarif said all sanctions against his country should be lifted, saying that if they had been intended to stop its nuclear ambitions they had failed. He said when sanctions had been imposed, Iran had 200 centrifuges, and “now we have 20,000.”

“Sanctions are a liability, you need to get rid of them if you want a solution,” he said.

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

China-Pakistan Nuclear Alliance (Daniel 7&8)

‘China assisted Pakistan to build 6 nuclear reactors’
Pak-china-and-Nuclear-Weapon-Archive
Last Updated: Monday, February 9, 2015 – 00:29

Beijing: China has assisted Pakistan to build six nuclear reactors with a total installed capacity of 3.4 million kilowatts, a top Chinese official said on Sunday as Beijing plans to build two 1100 mw reactors in Karachi with USD 6.5 billion assistance.

Outlining China’s nuclear technology exports, Wang Xiaotao, vice minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said the country is involved in initial discussions with several countries on the possibility of exporting its nuclear power equipment.

China is currently exporting nuclear technology to Pakistan and Argentina, he said.

“China has assisted Pakistan to build six nuclear reactors to generate 3.4 million KW of power,” he said, without giving details.

China has built two 300 MW reactors at Chasma in Pakistan’s Punjab province followed by two 320 MW units at the same place.

It has also announced plans to construct for the first time two 1100 MW reactors in Karachi.

India and the United States have expressed concern that the two reactors are being built without the sanction of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which supervises the global civil nuclear technology commerce.

India had secured the NSG waiver in 2008 after the India-US civil nuclear deal.

China signed a landmark deal with Argentina on Wednesday to build a pressurised water reactor (PWR) nuclear power plant there.

“It did not take long for us from introducing this (nuclear) technology to exporting it,” Wang said.

PTI

Let’s Make A Deal (Daniel 8)

Iran’s Khamenei hints ready to accept fair nuclear deal as talks proceed
Obama and Khamenei
By Mehrdad Balali and Shadia Nasralla
DUBAI/MUNICH | Sun Feb 8, 2015 8:19am EST
By Mehrdad Balali and Shadia Nasralla

DUBAI/MUNICH (Reuters) – Iran’s paramount leader suggested on Sunday he could back a fair nuclear accord with world powers in which neither side got everything it wanted, boosting Iranian negotiators under fire from hardliners at home opposed to rapprochement with the West.

“I would go along with any agreement that could be made. Of course, I am not for a bad deal. No agreement is better than an agreement which runs contrary to our nation’s interests,” clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement issued by his office carried by ISNA news agency.
But in a message that appeared to back up the conciliatory approach of President Hassan Rouhani, who revived diplomacy with Western powers soon after his landslide election in 2013, Khamenei said: “As the president (has) said, negotiations mean reaching a common point. Therefore, the other party … should not expect its illogical expectations to be materialized.

“This means that one side would not end up getting all it wants,” said Khamenei, in office since 1989 and long known for his rejectionist stances against detente with the West until he cleared Rouhani to try to end the long-running nuclear dispute with the West, which has cost Iran international isolation.

However, Khamenei, in a remark apparently meant to keep powerful hardline loyalists on side, reiterated: “The Iranian nation will not accept any excessive demands and illogical behavior.”
The West suspects Iran of covertly seeking a nuclear weapons capability instead of, as the major oil producer maintains, an alternative civilian energy source through its enrichment of uranium. Iran denies having any nuclear arms agenda.

A comprehensive nuclear deal is seen as crucial to reducing the risk of a wider Middle East war, at a time when Iran is deeply involved in conflicts in Syria and Iraq. After nearly a year of talks, negotiators failed for the second time in November to meet a self-imposed deadline for an agreement.

Khamenei added that he “firmly” backed a continuation of the negotiations and called for a single-stage, “detailed” agreement – suggesting Tehran still wanted sanctions lifted swiftly rather than gradually as the powers want.

His comments coincided with a series of meetings between Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and top diplomats from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and France at the annual high-profile Munich Security Conference.

Zarif described this as a “very serious discussion”.

Negotiators have set a June 30 final deadline for a deal to end the 12-year stand-off over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and limit its nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions, after giving themselves a seven-month extension last November.

Western officials said they aim to agree on the substance of a final accord by March but that more time would be needed to reach a consensus on crucial technical details.

Major sticking points continue to be the pace at which sanctions would be removed, the size of Iran’s nuclear fuel-producing capacity – a key consideration in preventing any output of bomb material – and the length of any agreement.

“Our (nuclear) negotiators are trying to take the weapon of sanctions away from the enemy. If they can, so much the better. If they fail, everyone should know there are many ways at our disposal to dull this weapon,” said Khamenei.

Khamenei, who holds the highest office in the Islamic Republic with powers to overrule laws, has taken a skeptical stand on the nuclear talks. But he has also repeatedly endorsed Rouhani’s course on ending the economically crippling nuclear stand-off against harsh criticism from hardliners in parliament, the Shi’ite clergy and the powerful Revolutionary Guards.

Tehran and Washington severed diplomatic relations after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, but later restored tentative direct contact on specific issues such as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and more recently as part of bilateral consultations to help settle the 12-year nuclear dispute.

Separately, Zarif denied on Sunday a Reuters report quoting unidentified senior Iranian officials that he had told the United States during the talks that Rouhani’s political clout would be heavily damaged if negotiations failed.

Like Khamenei, Zarif insisted on the need to scrap the sanctions, saying they were not an “asset” in negotiations.

“Sanctions are a liability. You need to get rid of them if you want a solution,” he told the Munich gathering.

Israel, which sees Iran’s nuclear aspirations as a mortal threat, promised to do everything in its power to thwart what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned would be a “bad and dangerous agreement” from Israel’s point of view.

“World powers and Iran are charging ahead to an agreement that would allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weaponry, something that would imperil the existence of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu told his weekly cabinet meeting.

U.S. Senator John McCain, a hawkish Republican, warned in Munich that while Iran was negotiating now, its underlying goal was “to drive Western influence out of the Middle East”.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Brown and Noah Barkin in Munich, Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Writing by Stephen Brown; Editing by Mark Heinrich)