Sunday, November 24, 2013


Mary Shelley wrote her Frankenstein while residing on the shores of Lake Leman.  I fear that the so-called nuclear deal with Iran has given us another "hybrid."  Teheran's nuclear program is supposed to be mothballed for the six months to come. In return the existing sanctions will be adjusted. As a result, the Iranians will see part of its frozen assets returned.  It is undeniable that the Iranian theocracy finds itself in an economic slump. This results equally from the mullah's murky dealings with the Syrian regime, Hezbollah and other less-frequentable groupings which receive financial and military support.

It is premature to express an educated opinion about the technicalities of the agreement but it is the right moment to raise the question of the political and "moral" consequences.  This non historical deal will unsettle America's natural allies in the region and might further undermine what is left of Washington's credibility. It will not stop the hardliners in Iran chanting death to America. More important is the Israeli factor. Is it moral to "pivot" into pathological smiles with a negotiating partner who does not hide that he would be delighted to see Israel wiped from the map?  Did the Munich syndrome not die after all ?

One should never exclude negotiations per se, even with an unsavory party.  It is to be hoped that the Iranians were also put under pressure regarding their toxic political agenda.  If this had to be done discreetly, so be it, but it had to be part of the conversation'

The blanks are too manifold in this 5+1 formula.  It does not have legs since it leaves the Russians and Chinese pursuing their differentials under the common umbrella . The Iranians were confronted with a dysfunctional negotiating team.  I fail also to see why one has to be in such a hurry to conclude while the other party is almost on its knees. Besides a rush to full nuclear capability would further economically debilitate a country which suffers already the indignities of a pariah state. Centrifuges are costly !

The six months to come will be interesting to monitor. They will certainly look like a roller coaster. The use of the assets which will be returned need also to be closely watched.
If the interim deal were to derail,  I would fasten my seat belt tight.  It is easier to lower sanctions than to re-install them.

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