Nuclear Settlement Should Top Obama’s Priorities

Nuclear Settlement Should Top Obama’s PrioritiesNuclear Settlement Should Top Obama’s Priorities

Judith Kipper, director of the Middle East Program at the Institute of World Affairs, has commented that reaching a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran should be considered the first priority of the administration of US President Barack Obama.    

Speaking to IRNA, Kipper said Obama and his team should be able to convince Republicans through political measures that reaching an inclusive deal with Iran would play a key role in maintaining US national interests regardless of its other massive and positive effects on the Middle East region.

However, she predicted that Republican congressmen would actively oppose the policy of President Obama on reaching a nuclear deal with Iran.   

She also said that President Hassan Rouhani is more or less facing the same challenges as his US counterpart and is in a similar position.

The Iranian president, too, should assure his opponents through political reasoning that sabotaging attempts to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal will be against national interests of the Iranian nation, the analyst said.   

 Main Stumbling Block

In an article published on the website of the American news organization Truthout on Friday, Gareth Porter also commented on the talks between Iran and the major powers on a comprehensive nuclear deal.

Porter is an independent investigative journalist and historian writing about US national security policy.  

He says, "As the Iran nuclear negotiations enter their final days before the November 24 deadline for agreement, the issue of enrichment capability is no longer the main stumbling block to agreement which is now the US position on lifting sanctions against Iran. Without a dramatic overhaul of that position, the talks will certainly fail."

Porter says it is highly likely that Iran and the major powers will be able to reach agreement on the number of uranium enrichment machines that Iran would maintain under a final deal, "but the US negotiating stance on sanctions relief, as revealed in public statements and leaks in recent weeks, presents political problems for Iran that make it a nonstarter".

He went on to say that the US has suggested it would suspend some of its unilateral sanctions, but a number of US unilateral sanctions would not be suspended, and UN Security Council sanctions would remain in place for at least several years.

"Those positions have elicited strong objections from the Iranian delegation."

Elsewhere, he says, "The Obama administration proposes to delay the lifting of Security Council sanctions and obtaining Congressional authority to lift unilateral sanctions until the end of the agreement. The objective is said to be to gain additional leverage over Iran's implementation of the agreement. But that argument isn't credible to Iranians, who have legitimate doubts that Congress would cooperate in allowing sanctions to be lifted."

Porter concludes, "Perhaps the administration has already planned to go to fallback positions on some or all of its proposals, but only a thorough rethinking of the whole negotiating strategy on the issue would avoid an almost certain failure to reach agreement before the time has expired."