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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Obama Lied: There Was No "Historic Understanding" Between the P5+1 and Iran in Lausanne

In a New York Times article entitled "Outline of Iran Nuclear Deal Sounds Different From Each Side," Michael Gordon explains that after reaching the purported "understanding" in Lausanne last Thursday, Iran and the P5+1 issued only a seven-paragraph public statement. In fact, this was in keeping with what Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif had said would happen. However, as later admitted to The New York Times by an anonymous American "senior administration official":

"'We talked to them and told them that we would have to say some things.' . . . 'We didn’t show them the paper [US State Department fact sheet]. We didn’t show them the whole list.'

The official acknowledged that it was 'understood that we had different narratives, but we wouldn’t contradict each other.'"

Well, it now turns out that the "fact sheets" issued by the US and Iran differ significantly regarding what was "agreed." Michael Gordon's article informs us:

"A careful review shows that there is considerable overlap between the two accounts, but also some noteworthy differences — which have raised the question of whether the two sides are entirely on the same page, especially on the question of how quickly sanctions are to be removed. The American and Iranian statements also do not clarify some critical issues, such as precisely what sort of research Iran will be allowed to undertake on advanced centrifuges during the first 10 years of the accord."

Indeed, as I noted in a blog item yesterday, Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran's Deputy Lead Negotiator in the talks, is insisting that the US State Department's "fact sheet" detailing the Lausanne nuclear understanding is completely off the mark regarding the critical issue of ending sanctions. As reported by Fars News:

"This is a wrong impression about the Lausanne understanding," Araqchi told the state-run TV on Saturday.

"The Lausanne statement explicitly states that the sanctions will be annulled; all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions will be removed in the first stage," Araqchi stressed.
He said the contents of the White House factsheet about the Lausanne agreements are wrong, and the statements made by  the (US State Department) spokeswoman are wrong too," Araqchi added.
He reiterated that economic sanctions and restrictions against Iran will be removed in the first stage of the implementation of the agreement.
"And if the Americans have an impression other than this, well it will surely be the topic of negotiations in the next round of the talks," Araqchi added.

In line with what Araqchi stated, Iranian President Rouhani today added:

"During the negotiations, we have always planned for the termination of the economic, financial and banking sanctions and we have never negotiated on their suspension, otherwise, no understanding would be made."

The Times of Israel reports in an article entitled "US, Iran publicly at odds over 6 key aspects of nuke deal, Israeli expert finds" that Ehud Ya’ari, Middle East analyst for Israel’s Channel 2 News and an international fellow at the Washington Institute, has found "six gaping areas of discrepancy between American and Iranian accounts of what the agreement actually entails":

  1. Sanctions: "the US has made clear that economic sanctions will be lifted in phases, whereas the Iranian fact sheet provides for the immediate lifting of all sanctions as soon as a final agreement is signed, which is set for June 30."
  2. Enrichment: "The American parameters provide for restrictions on enrichment for 15 years, while the Iranian fact sheet speaks of 10 years."
  3. Development of advanced centrifuges at Fordo: "The US says the framework rules out such development, . . . while the Iranians say they are free to continue this work."
  4. Inspections: "The US says that Iran has agreed to surprise inspections, while the Iranians say that such consent is only temporary."
  5. Stockpile of already enriched uranium: "Contrary to the US account, Iran is making clear that its stockpile of already enriched uranium — 'enough for seven bombs' if sufficiently enriched, . . . will not be shipped out of the country, although it may be converted."
  6. PMD: "The issue of the Possible Military Dimensions of the Iranian program, central to the effort to thwart Iran, has not been resolved."

A "historic understanding" as Obama would have us know? Actually, it's all eyewash, intended to prevent the US Congress from interfering with the president's desperate efforts to add rapprochement with Iran to his "legacy."


  1. Perhaps 'whitewash' is better than 'eyewash' unless 'whitewash' is now classified as a racist dog whistle?

    other missing points:

    1. Key Dems in Congress busy trying to find the antidote to being "Menendezed" for questioning #44 on Iran, or on #44's public disrespect of PM Netanyahu.

    2. Since Indiana passed a law that puts catering food at LGBT weddings as a major human rights issue, seems that the Lausanne Agreement should also insist that Iran guarantee pizza can be served at all gay weddings. (intended as sarcasm over the bizarre priorities of #44, especially seeing how fast the protesters can be deployed, and sanctions imposed, overnight!)

    3. All pipelines in Iran must stop inside Iran, just so the USA antagonizes Iran at least as much as we have antagonized Canada over pipelines.

    On a serious note. Today's news talk shows keep worrying about nuclear proliferation in the ME, which is probably the part of this issue that most Americans can NOT focus on.

    By next week, the pundits will be dissecting the foreign policy insights into HRC renting offices in multi-multi-cultural Brooklyn, where you can drive from Little Haiti to Little Punjab in five minutes.

    I use sarcasm when the world overwhelms the truth.


  2. a serious analysis by Zalmay Khalilzad:

    challenging hyperbole on every point.

    sarcasm deleted. k