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U.S. Caves to Key Iranian Demands

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The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

Until recently, the Obama administration had maintained that it would guarantee oversight on Tehran’s program well into the future, and that it would take the necessary steps to ensure that oversight would be effective. The issue has now emerged as a key sticking point in the talks.

Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.

This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.

“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source.  “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

The United States is now willing to let Iran keep many of its most controversial military sites closed to inspectors until international sanctions pressure has been lifted, according to sources.

This scenario has been criticized by nuclear experts, including David Albright, founder and president of the Institute for Science and International Security.

Albright told Congress in November that “a prerequisite for any comprehensive agreement is for the IAEA to know when Iran sought nuclear weapons, how far it got, what types it sought to develop, and how and where it did this work.”

“The IAEA needs a good baseline of Iran’s military nuclear activities, including the manufacturing of equipment for the program and any weaponization related studies, equipment, and locations,” Albright said.

One policy expert familiar with the concessions told the Washington Free Beacon that it would be difficult for the administration to justify greater concessions given the centrality of this issue in the broader debate.

“The Obama administration has gone all-in on the importance of verification,” said the source, who asked for anonymity because the administration has been known to retaliate against critics in the policy community. “But without knowing what the Iranians have it’s impossible for the IAEA to verify that they’ve given it up.”

A lesser emphasis is also being placed on Iran coming clean about its past efforts to build nuclear weapons. The Islamic Republic continues to stall United Nations efforts to determine the extent of its past weapons work, according to the Wall Street Journal.

By placing disclosure of Iran’s past military efforts on the back burner, the administration could harm the ability of outside inspectors to take full inventory of Iran’s nuclear know-how, according to sources familiar with the situation.

It also could jeopardize efforts to keep Iran at least one year away from building a bomb, sources said.

On the diplomatic front, greater concessions are fueling fears among U.S. allies that Iran will emerge from the negations as a stronger regional power

washington free beacon

4 Comments on "U.S. Caves to Key Iranian Demands"

  1. paulo1 on Fri, 27th Mar 2015 8:55 am 

    Israel and Congress will fix any bad deal if you believe the rhetoric. Should be interesting.

    Obama’s name will one day be used to model disappointment. The cops bring you home to your folks, “you pulled an Obama, buster”. The wife wants to leave you, “you’ve been a real Obama”. You get in a car crash, “I pulled an Obama, officer”. Get older and the lead just isn’t in the pencil like it used to be, “Doc, it just seems to Obama when I most need it”. Buyer remorse on the new house, “I just feel like I Obamaed this one. Nothing works and the Obama roof leaks”.

    Worst president, ever.

  2. penury on Fri, 27th Mar 2015 11:33 am 

    If you follow the propaganda you would likely come to the conclusion that the “talks” with Iran are a ploy to distract them while the real agenda is carried out. The efforts for the past month appear to be to vilify Iran with the narrative that “Iran is attempting to control the ME. Iran is supporting whichever terrorists they are not fighting at the moment. Iran is trying to overthrow SA so they can be the big dog. The U.S. cannot put boots on the ground in Tikrit because the Iranian backed Shia fighters will not allow it. Iran is financing more rebel groups than the U.S. Iran will destroy Israel if we sign an agreement. That is why the U.S. has to have several ships and thousands of marines readily available. there is more, but I think you get the point.

  3. baptised on Fri, 27th Mar 2015 3:25 pm 

    Since the original 9/11 sin, USA has only went downward in the eyes of the rest of the world. Don’t let anybody lie to you and say that does not matter. We are in dept so deep it cannot be repaid and the only way to have any control in the middle east is spend more. I don’t say this with happiness or pride as some would. To me it’s just awfully sad. p.s. Is making nukes in Iran even a problem any more? When we have harmed Russia every way we dare to and they could have Iran loaded with nuclear missiles in less than 24 hours.

  4. Makati1 on Fri, 27th Mar 2015 7:30 pm 

    baptised, and the missile would stay in Iran as the West has no threat that would not be mutual destruction. I suspect that we (the US) already have nukes in the KSA or ready to ship on fast notice if asked.

    Our invasion of Iraq opened this Pandora’s Box and it will not close peacefully.

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