Nov 25, ’13
By Pepe Escobar
Asia Times

The 34-year Wall of Mistrust between the US and Iran started tumbling down on Sunday at 3 am local time in Geneva. Or has it?

It is, after all, only a mutually acknowledged “first step” – a deal to start negotiating a real deal (see the full text here ) And the terms, for Iran, are harsh.

Iran will be allowed to trade again in gold, petrochemicals, car and plane parts, and will have some US$4.2 billion in oil sales unfrozen. Yet a fortune remains in permafrost – including $10 billion in European banks. And there is still $50 billion with Iran’s Asian energy clients – China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey – that still cannot be repatriated.

Over the next six months Iran must; stop enriching uranium above 5%; dilute its stock of 20%-enriched uranium; install no more centrifuges; refrain from fueling the heavy-water reactor in Arak; and accept a lot more International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections (which have unearthed no evidence whatsoever uranium has been diverted to weaponization).

Predictably, the spin war unleashed the minute the deal was clinched in Geneva centers on Iran’s right to enrich uranium. US Secretary of State John Kerry said no; not implicit in the document. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said yes, implicit in the deal and in the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) itself.

In a Voltairean best of possible worlds, we’re just at the stage of a road map for a definitive deal allowing Iran its rightful, peaceful nuclear program (enrichment included) under non-stop IAEA monitoring and far away from breakout nuclear capacity.

Read more