Just ahead of Geneva talks, a compromise may be nearing for Iran’s nuclear dealings despite what Benjamin Netanyahu tweets in anger.
On Friday, a senior U.S. official mentioned a solution is possible and could be accomplished next week. The official highlighted how it is the first time in a decade “we are getting close to a first step that would stop the Iranian nuclear program from advancing and roll it back in key areas.”
The Geneva talks are scheduled for next week with six of the world powers- the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Russia, and China with Iran. Diplomats from the West would like to halt Iran’s nuclear endeavors for six months until a more comprehensive agreement is made which ensures the program in Tehran is for civilian reasons. Iran continuously maintains that the nuclear program is peaceful. Experts fear capabilities of a nuclear Iran would mean the country could develop nuclear weapons.
It is clear American officials want a solution with Iran allowed to deal with uranium at a level of 3.5 percent, which is what is used for civilian nuclear purposes. This condition must be met with Iran permitting strict verification. Iran already has uranium enriched to 20 percent. That could be used to power specialty reactors but also is very close to weapon-grade uranium.
Ahead of the Geneva talks, sentiment around the world is showing that a compromise with Iran over its nuclear program is possibly coming, despite Netanyahu and his supporters. Just the prospect of a deal reached is encouraging. This has provoked Netanyahu to angrily tweet and invoked criticism from Republicans and a few Democrats. They are joining Netanyahu who is trying to mount a campaign against an agreement with Iran.
Netanyahu has arranged meetings with France, Russia and the U.S. ahead of the Geneva talks, which Israel will not join. President Hollande of France is due to meet with him early this week. Then he will travel to Moscow to meet President Putin on Wednesday. Finally on Friday, he will meet with U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry in Jerusalem. Netanyahu made it clear he will be discussing Iran with all government officials and that he wants the continuation of the sanctions, not a compromise.
On Twitter, he voiced his opinions openly by tweeting “I hope we will be able to convince our friends this week … to reach a much better deal, and it’s possible to obtain that because Iran is under economic pressure and by the continuation of this pressure — and even by increasing it — can lead to a much better result of a diplomatic solution in peaceful ways.”
The U.S. and Israel have a strained relationship since President Obama and Netanyahu do not align on all issues. On Sunday, Netanyahu said their differing opinions happen between even the “best of friends.”
Referring to a compromise with Iran as a “bad deal,” he continues to caution the West to not embrace solutions. He tweeted, “Iran is on its knees economically” and then tried to strike fear again by tweeting “the proposal enables Iran to develop atomic bombs and build long-range missiles to reach the U.S. and Europe.”
Despite outcries from Netanyahu, Russia also shows positive sentiment towards a compromise with Iran about its nuclear program.
The foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, publicly broadcasted a statement on Saturday that the deal could be made and how being this close means an end to the decade-long standoff should not be conceded. His statements were broadcasted on the state run TV station, TVC. He also added, “our common impression is that there is a very good chance now.”
If an agreement is made in Geneva, the U.S. will ease the economic sanctions posed on Iran. In return, Iran will be able to access its frozen assets. American officials confirm Iran has around $100 billion in reserves, mainly in overseas accounts.
The world is opening to a compromise with Iran on the country’s nuclear program while Netanyahu continues to confirm his disapproval via constant tweets. President Obama, countered the negative outbursts by Netanyahu by stating “let’s test how willing they are to actually resolve this diplomatically and peacefully.” It seems world powers are open to a peaceful compromise with a nuclear Iran.
By Cayce Manesiotis