What a surprise. “Iran’s Persian statement on ‘deal’ contradicts Obama’s claims,” by Amir Taheri, New York Post, April 4, 2015:
“Iran Agrees to Detailed Nuclear Outline,” The New York Times headline claimed on Friday. That found an echo in the Washington Post headline of the same day: “Iran agrees to nuclear restrictions in framework deal with world powers.”
But the first thing to know about the highly hyped “historic achievement” that President Obama is trying to sell is that there has been no agreement on any of the fundamental issues that led to international concern about Iran’s secret nuclear activities and led to six mandatory resolutions by the United Nations Security Council and 13 years of diplomatic seesaw.
All we have is a number of contradictory statements by various participants in the latest round of talks in Switzerland, which together amount to a diplomatic dog’s dinner.
First, we have a joint statement in English in 291 words by Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif and the European Union foreign policy point-woman Federica Mogherini, who led the so-called P5+1 group of nations including the US in the negotiations.
Next we have the official Iranian text, in Persian, which runs into 512 words. The text put out by the French comes with 231 words. The prize for “spinner-in-chief” goes to US Secretary of State John Kerry who has put out a text in 1,318 words and acts as if we have a done deal.
It is not only in their length that the texts differ.
They amount to different, at times starkly contradictory, narratives.
The Mogherini and French texts are vague enough to be ultimately meaningless, even as spin.
The Persian text carefully avoids words that might give the impression that anything has been agreed by the Iranian side or that the Islamic Republic has offered any concessions.
The Iranian text is labelled as a press statement only. The American text, however, pretends to enumerate “Parameters for a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” and claims key points have been “decided.” What remains to be done is work out “implementation details.”…
The Iranian text opens by insisting that it has absolutely no “legal aspect” and is intended only as “a guideline for drafting future accords.”
The American text claims that Iran has agreed to do this or that, for example reducing the number of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,500.
The Iranian text, however, says that Iran “shall be able to . . .” or “qader khahad boud” in Farsi to do such a thing. The same is true about enrichment in Fordow. The Americans say Iran has agreed to stop enrichment there for 15 years. The Iranian text, however, refers to this as something that Iran “will be able to do,” if it so wished….