I have grave concern, the sabotage of the nuclear agreement between P5+1 by France will have closed the small window of opportunity. The confidence build-up by President Rouhani has evaporated and accusations of who is to blame is doing the ultimate damage. Months of negotiations led to no deal when France FM Fabius flew into Geneva with orders from Hollande. With the threat of a French veto at the United Nations, all Kerry could do was to bow out and tell the lie of a united Western front to safe face. The Iranians are furous and Russian FM Lavrov tries to stay calm, hoping for another chance on November 20. IMO, no deal will be reached and the right-wingers will succeed to apply more sanctions on Iran.
(BBC News) – During a visit to Abu Dhabi, Mr Kerry told reporters that the P5+1 had been “unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians”.
“The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal,” he added. “Iran couldn’t take it at that particular moment.”
“No amount of spinning can change what happened within 5+1 in Geneva from 6pm Thursday to 5:45pm Saturday. But it can further erode confidence.”
○ NYTimes Lede Blog Iran’s Foreign Minister Subtweets Kerry
○ France L’Express La France accusée de “hold-up” sur le nucléaire iranien
○ RFE/RL Iran’s Foreign Minister Criticizes Kerry Over Geneva Remarks
Iranian press reaction
Ali Bigdeli in reformist daily Sharq: “The additional pressure exerted by some Arab countries as well as Israel on the US and France is believed to be the main reason for the postponement of an agreement… Kerry and Fabius came to an arrangement based on which the French foreign minister took the role of the objector.”
Abbas Hajinajjari in conservative daily Javan: “Given the hegemonic system’s intention to prolong the talks in order to exhaust the Iranians and implement the scenario of making [Iran] surrender, it seems that the Iranian diplomatic apparatus should take the leading role in the next round of talks by changing the way the talks are conducted and presenting its conditions.”
Below the fold: French derailing of Iran deal, scoring points with Israel, selling guns to Saudis …
(RT) – As we know, the French like to go their own way – sometimes they tack to the right, sometimes they tack to the left. They were opposed to the US invading Iraq but they appeared to be a little bit to the right of the United States and the other members of the P5+1 on this issue. Then there is a fact that Francois Holland, the French president, is going to Israel this week; he’ll score some points there, he is a new hero of the neo-conservatives in this country now. And then France has a very important relationship with the Gulf Arabs, especially with the Saudis, and wants to sell more weapons.
… John Kerry is generally quite diplomatic and he wants a deal. And if it is France that is in the way, he is not going out to publically criticize the French; he is going to work behind the scenes to try to convince them to sign on.
(RT) – As delegations from Iran and six leading nations were locked in negotiations in Geneva, the government of Israeli PM Netanyahu was continuing to advocate against dealing with Tehran. Over the weekend, Netanyahu called British PM David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to promote Tel Aviv’s position, he told his Cabinet on Sunday.
“I told them that according to the information reaching Israel, the deal that appears to be in the offing is bad and dangerous,” Netanyahu said. “Not just for us but also for them. I suggested that they wait and give it serious consideration, and it’s good that that is indeed what was decided. We will do everything we can to convince the leaders not to reach a bad agreement.”
“I asked them what was the rush? I suggested they wait,” he said in remarks relayed by his office.
Netanyahu added that he spoke on the phone to French President Francois Hollande on the Iranian talks. France took the lead in stalling negotiations with Iran this weekend, and the French leader is to visit Israel next Sunday.
Netanyahu himself is to visit Moscow on November 20 just as talks are to resume in Geneva.
Israel will also be able to voice its objections to a delegation of senior US officials, led by Wendy Sherman, the U.S. Undersecretary of State for political affairs, which is due to arrive in Jerusalem on Sunday. The officials are to update Netanyahu’s government on the developments in Geneva.
In addition to lobbying President Obama’s administration, Israel is planning a lobbying campaign aimed at the US Congress, Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett.
- See previous diaries:
○ Foreign Ministers Don’t Fly In To Be Embarrassed by kafkananda
○ Obama On Path Towards Grand-Slam In Diplomacy