Persian Carpet Ride: What the Mullahs Know

The only Frenchman worth listening to or reading is Amir Taheri.  His latest post is striking in its synoptic scope regarding the Iranian nuclear talks.  He wrote the following: “its not clear who is negotiating with whom.”  Why is this significant?

Because it elucidates a farce that only realists acknowledge.  The talks in Vienna have all the trapping of officialdom, but Taheri is right, its not clear who is negotiating with whom on what authority.

The 5+1 Group is a complete ad hoc concoction with neither a defined legal status nor a clear negotiating brief.

It cannot represent the U.N. Security Council, because Germany is participating in Vienna.  Also, why is 5+1 headed by Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy spokesperson.  Come to think of it, if 5+1 represents Western democracies, why are Russia and China involved.

Finally, who appointed this group and whom does it report to?

The Security Council has passes six resolutions regarding Iran’s violation of its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  Still, 5+1 fields its own negotiating brief, behaving as if the U.N. resolutions can be ignored.

At absolutely no point has 5+1 made public statements about what it wishes to achieve in Vienna.

Here’s a hint:  the spokesman for the Iranian National Security Committee in Tehran (Alaeddin Broujerdi) revealed the following:  “ten years ago we begged them to let us have two centrifuges. . . today we have over 19,000 enriching uranium, and they beg us not to build more.”

So where is Vienna now?  Its demanding that Iran fix its enrichment ceiling at 5%.  Then it moved its demand to 20% but at a slower rate. (try not to laugh)  It asked that Iran close heavy water installations at Fordo and Arak.  By the end of the talks 5+1 had fallen to a plea that Iran refrain from building new enrichment facilities.

How else to put it:  5+1 isn’t even a coalition of the willing.

Immediately before Vienna closed, the Chinese, Russian and Germans walked out, leaving the American’s alone with the Iranians and a few token Europeans.

The Brits are using these talks to upgrade relations with Iran, having dispatched a parliamentary mission to Tehran. What did the French send?  High ranking diplomatic officials with key businessmen looking for work.

So how did Vienna end?

5+1 accepts Iran’s right to enrich uranium, only at a slower rate.  The reasoning is that the West can detect when a totalitarian nation would be near to a nuclear breakout.  Oh, and the U.S. released $2.9 Billion in hard cash to revive a faulting economy.

The fatal conceit of the West is on display for all to see.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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