Iran is the scorpion and Secretary Kerry is the frog.
The Scorpion and the Frog
A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion
says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”
The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”
Replies the scorpion: “Its my nature…”
Secretary Kerry apparently went to Geneva to bring peace in our time by signing a deal with Iran on its nuclear conduct and ambitions. The deal was not signed, largely due to Israeli and French opposition. The apparent terms of the (apparently) rejected deal are provided here.
Senior political sources said that the deal that has been sitting on the negotiations table since the weekend is “very bad.” It calls on Iran to stop enriching uranium to the 20 percent level, but allows them to continue enriching uranium to 3.5% at all of its enrichment sites. In addition it fails to place a limitation on the number of centrifuges in Tehran’s possession, estimated to number 19,000.
Under the proposed deal, “Iran won’t really be paying a significant price,” a source added.
“To our understanding, they’re receiving a significant easing of sanctions,” he added.
Rewards to Iran include the unfreezing of $3 billion of fuel funds, an easing of sanctions on the petrochemical and gold sectors, an easing of sanctions on replacement parts for planes and a loosening of restrictions on the Iranian car industry.
If such a deal goes ahead, “We might head down a lane that will lead to a collapse of the sanctions regime. This is very grave,” the source continued. “This won’t really stop the [nuclear] project. It will give the Iranians breathing space.”
Israel’s position is that as long as Iran continues, sanctions must not be lifted, and should even be tightened.
. . . .
Israel received updates on the talks from the US on Wednesday, as well as from others, and believed that the deal taking shape would be limited to unfreezing $3b. of Iranian assets in Western bank accounts. Even at that stage, Israel objected to the plan, due to its assessment that the moment a crack in the door appears, and sanctions are eased, the door can then be torn down by international companies from countries such as China, Italy and Germany who are thirsty for business with Iran.
Once major international transactions begin, a dynamic will kick in that will lead to a collapse of sanctions, according to this evaluation.
But over the weekend, Israel learned that the deal on the table is far worse than the one presented to it on Wednesday, and included four clauses for the easing of sanctions rather than just one. Israeli officials said they became furious when the details of the actual deal reached them, describing it as an “enormous mistake.”
“[US Secretary of State John] Kerry left with food for thought after a tough conversation with [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu,” the political source said.
At the same time, he stressed, the US did not deceive Israel. Instead, the Americans “folded” between Wednesday and the weekend, “maybe because they very much want to reach an agreement and be done with this,” he added. [Emphasis added.]
Whatever may have been Secretary Kerry’s motivations, and whether he told Iran “If you like your nuke plan you can keep it,” are unclear. Did he tell Prime Minister Netanyahu “that’s a nice country you have there. I sure hope nothing bad happens to it?” Probably not, because there was no need to say it. That is the Obama Administration’s position vis a vis the “peace plan” for Israel and “Palestine,” coupled with “if we don’t succeed, it’s all the fault of Israel.
After the deal apparently fell apart, Iranian President Rouhani asserted that Iran’s right to enrich Uranium is its “red line.”
“For us there are red lines that cannot be crossed. National interests are our red lines that include our rights under the framework of international regulations and [uranium] enrichment in Iran,” he said during a speech at the National Assembly, Iran’s student news agency(ISNA) said.
“We have said to the negotiating sides that we will not answer to any threat, sanction, humiliation or discrimination. The Islamic Republic has not and will not bow its head to threats from any authority,” he added, calling sanctions “an illegal and ineffective solution.”
Iran’s President Rouhani seemed to have succeeded in his “charm offensive,” much as the scorpion succeeded in causing the frog to think it would not harm him. His charm offensive was disingenuous. Here is a video, with subtitles, in which Rouhani explained how he had deceived the West in the past.
Some leopard; some stripes.
Had it not been for Israel and France, and apparently other increasingly suspicious Western negotiators, the scorpion might well have got what it wanted and then waited until the frog had carried it across the river to complete its preparations to attack Israel and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the sting from President Rouhani’s affirmation that Iran likes its nuke plan and will keep it may be enough to make the United States and other nations back off by increasing, rather than diminishing, the sanctions. I noted here that
Our negotiators need to listen very attentively to what is not said. They need to make no commitments until Iran’s actual, as distinguished from obfuscated, capabilities and intentions are known. If full and accurate information is obtained red lines, capable of enforcement, should be drawn; should they be breached, they should be enforced vigorously and promptly. If such information is obtained and understood, it seems quite likely that no agreement will reached. However, not having an agreement under which Iran can continue to mushroom the civilized world while pursuing its nuclear ambitions will be far better than having an agreement permitting Iran to continue doing so. [Emphasis added.]
Through no apparent “fault” of Secretary Kerry, President Rouhani has now made Iran’s intentions vis a vis Uranium enrichment clear. Its intentions vis a vis Israel have been clear for years, even though President Rouhani’s charm offensive managed to obscure them.
This time it’s Iran rather than the IRS.
According to Joseph Wouk,
Truly breathtaking. After being called out by Netanyahu and blocked by France, Kerry tries to make it seem like it was his idea all along.
“I meant to do that…”
How stupid does he think the world is?
Kerry brings a level of pathos to his office that is truly sui generis.
Sui generis? I don’t think so. Secretary Kerry is the creature of his master, President Obama.
Here is the video associated with Mr. Wouk’s article:
According to an Associated Press article dated November 10th,
(WASHINGTON) — Wary of Iran‘s nuclear intentions, senators are predicting a bipartisan push for fresh penalties and increased leverage against Tehran despite administration opposition, and waiting to hear directly from Secretary of State John Kerry about the latest round of talks that failed to produce a deal. [Emphasis added.]
Kerry tried to reassure skeptical members of Congress after negotiations in Geneva between Iran and Western powers stalled, with France turning down a list of demands on Iran, saying they were too generous to mean an easing of international sanctions.
Is the Obama Administration losing some of its luster?
UPDATE November 11th
Here’s a link to a speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu on “I will not be silenced.” I particularly liked this part:
“For decades we have been struggling mightily against a regime that calls for our destruction and it pursues nuclear weapons in order to achieve our destruction,” said Netanyahu.
The West, he added, “put together a sanctions regime that has brought Iran to its knees, crippling sanctions. The purpose of those sanctions was to get Iran to dismantle — dismantle — its nuclear enrichment capabilities, which are used for atomic bombs and its heavy water plutonium reactor, which is used for atomic bombs.
“This is what the sanctions are for,” said Netanyahu. “They’re not for preventing civilian nuclear energy or medical isotopes. I suppose Iran is building those ICBMs in order to launch medical isotopes to the Iranian patients orbiting the Earth. It is to prevent fissile material — that’s the material that you put inside an atomic bomb — that’s what those sanctions were about. To dismantle the centrifuge installations, underground military installations, centrifuge halls, and the plutonium reactor. [Emphasis added.]
“Now there’s a deal. Why the Iranians came to deal is obvious: because the sanctions are biting, biting their economy, crippling that regime. So they came to the table because they have to. And what is being offered now, and I’m continuously updated in detail. I know whereof I speak. What is being proposed now is a deal in which Iran retains all of that capacity. Not one centrifuge is dismantled. Not one.”