Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Confused Framework

From Times of Israel, 7 April 2015:

French fact sheet differs from US on Iran’s centrifuge use, R&D

Raising new questions, internal Paris document seen by Times of Israel also shows discrepancies over sanctions relief, inspectors’ access

A French government fact sheet on the Iran framework deal, which has not been made public by Paris but which has been seen by The Times of Israel, provides for Iran to gradually introduce the use of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium after 12 years, in contrast to the US official parameters, which make no such specific provision.

The use of the more advanced IR-2 and IR-4 centrifuges, as permitted according to the French fact sheet, would enable Iran to more rapidly accumulate the highly enriched uranium needed to build nuclear weapons, accelerating its breakout time to the bomb.

The French fact sheet also specifies that Iran will be allowed to continue R&D work on the advanced IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges, the last of which can enrich uranium at 20-times the speed of Iran’s current IR-1 centrifuges, whereas the American parameters are less specific.

Differences between the texts issued by Paris and Washington also extend to the question of inspection and supervision of Iran’s activities, with the French document indicating that the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, will be able to visit any suspect site in Iran — so-called “anywhere, anytime” access — whereas the US document is less far-reaching.

The two documents also differ in their terminology as regards the scale and timing of sanctions relief as the deal takes effect.

From left, Head of Mission of the People's Republic of China to the European Union Hailong Wu, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarifat, Russian Deputy Political Director Alexey Karpov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry arrive in Lausanne, Switzerland, Thursday, April 2, 2015, after the United States, Iran and five other world powers on Thursday announced an understanding outlining limits on Iran's nuclear program. (AP Photo/Brendan Smialowski, Pool)
From left: Head of Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the European Union, Hailong Wu; French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius; German Foreign Minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier; European Union High Representative, Federica Mogherini; Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif; Russian Deputy Political Director, Alexey Karpov; British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond; and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 2, 2015, after the US, Iran and five other world powers announced an understanding outlining limits on Iran’s nuclear program. (photo credit: AP/Brendan Smialowski)


Ever since the framework agreement was announced last week, the various parties have set out sometimes sharply differing accounts of what has been agreed, provoking escalating controversy and criticism over a deal that President Barack Obama has hailed as historic and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned is “very bad” and paves Iran’s path to the bomb.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday issued its own fact sheet, which differs starkly with the official American parameters and with the French fact sheet seen by The Times of Israel.

Six key discrepancies between the US and Iranian documents, some of them at the very heart of the framework agreement announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, last Thursday, were highlighted by an Israeli expert on Saturday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed earlier on Saturday that, under the deal, Iran has the right to continue working on more of the advanced IR-8 centrifuges. “Some said Iran can have no R&D, but we now have the right to develop IR-8, which has 20x the output of IR-1,” he said.

The Israeli government on Monday issued a series of demands intended to transform the non-signed framework agreement into a more reasonable deal by the scheduled June 30 deadline, and asked 10 key questions about the terms, several of which related to the emerging discrepancies between the various players’ accounts of what was decided in Lausanne.

Hours later, in two interviews with Israeli television stations, Ben Rhodes, a senior adviser to Obama, quashed the notion that the final deal would be markedly more stringent on Iran than the terms of the framework agreement, declaring that the deal as it now stands meets the US’s “core objectives.
“We believe that this is the best deal that can emerge from these negotiations,” Rhodes said.

No comments: