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Monday, June 30, 2014

John Kerry, "Iranian nuclear deal still is possible, but time is running out": Preparing for Failure

In a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Iranian nuclear deal still is possible, but time is running out" (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/iranian-nuclear-deal-still-is-possible-but-time-is-running-out/2014/06/30/8510fbe2-0091-11e4-8fd0-3a663dfa68ac_story.html?hpid=z3), John Kerry tells us that Tehran must now choose whether to accept restrictions on its nuclear weapons development program by the July 20 deadline imposed by the P5+1 framework agreement. Kerry writes:

"We have, over the past several months, proposed a series of reasonable, verifiable and easily achievable measures that would ensure Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon and that its program is limited to peaceful purposes. In return, Iran would be granted phased relief from nuclear-related sanctions.

What will Iran choose? Despite many months of discussion, we don’t know yet. We do know that substantial gaps still exist between what Iran’s negotiators say they are willing to do and what they must do to achieve a comprehensive agreement. We also know that their public optimism about the potential outcome of these negotiations has not been matched, to date, by the positions they have articulated behind closed doors.

These gaps aren’t caused by excessive demands on our part."

Query: Why did Kerry make use of the Washington Post to air his concerns? Is it because Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei is a fervent reader of The Washington Post? I don't think so.

With ISIS forces running amok in Iraq and threatening his western border, and with 30 million Kurds residing in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey contemplating the establishment of an independent state, Khamenei doesn't give much of a damn what Kerry has to say in WaPo.

Kerry tells us that if Iran is not willing to accept the conditions of the P5+1, "international sanctions will tighten and Iran’s isolation will deepen." However, Khamenei must be wondering whether the easing of international sanctions pursuant to the P5+1 framework agreement didn't let the genie out of the bottle.

So if the Kerry opinion piece is not intended for the consumption of Khamenei and friends, to whom is it addressed? A domestic audience? Might Kerry already be attempting to soften the blow of yet another Obama administration foreign policy failure?

Stay tuned . . .

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