A deal has been reached between the world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program after a series of major American concessions, Ehud Yaari, the Middle East affairs commentator for Israel’s Channel 2 television, said Friday night. “It is done. It is done,” he said, and will be signed “early next week.”
The aim of the agreement is to put a negotiated end to a 13-year standoff with Iran over its suspect nuclear program and to block its pathway to developing a nuclear bomb in exchange for lifting biting global sanctions. Israel’s leadership has relentlessly opposed the emerging agreement, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that it will pave Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal.
According to Yaari, Israel’s most respected Middle East analyst, the deal was reached because the Americans “have made a series of capitulations over the past two to three weeks in almost every key aspect that was being debated.”
Yaari said that even those in the US who had supported the agreement with Iran “admit that it is worse than they thought.” Now, he said, the ball is in the court of Democratic lawmakers who have to decide whether to support their president as he seeks to secure Congressional approval, or to join the vocal Republican opposition to an agreement.
One major concession, Yaari said, is the issue of inspections of Iranian nuclear sites, which has long been a sticking point in the negotiations. According to Yaari, the US negotiators have given in to an Iranian demand that inspections are “managed” — in other words, there will be no surprise visits, only those that are pre-arranged and approved by the Iranian regime.
While there has been no official word that the deal is finalized, US Secretary of State John said Friday evening that progress had been made in the talks, and praised what he called the “constructive” atmosphere.
“I think we have resolved some of the things that were outstanding and we’ve made some progress,” he said, speaking to a few reporters as he met with his team of experts in Vienna.
Iran will continue to fight the United States’ “global arrogance” whether or not the world powers and Iran reach a nuclear agreement, said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday.
Speaking to a group of students in Tehran, Khamenei said Iran’s “fight [against] global arrogance is the core of our [1979 Islamic] revolution and we cannot put it on hold.
“Get ready to continue your fight against the global arrogance. The US is the true embodiment of the global arrogance,” said the Iranian leader in response to a student’s question about what would happen if the talks to curb the country’s nuclear program were successful.
At the annual al-Quds Day march in Tehran on Friday, hundreds of thousands shouted “Death to America,” burned American flags and displayed posters of President Barack Obama in flames.
Yaari said that even those in the US who had supported the agreement with Iran “admit that it is worse than they thought.” Now, he said, the ball is in the court of Democratic lawmakers who have to decide whether to support President Barack Obama as he seeks to secure Congressional approval, or to join the vocal Republican opposition to an agreement.
Foreigners will never be allowed access to Iran’s military sites, the deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces said on Friday.
“We call on the negotiating sides to avoid stepping into this realm; because access to military centers will not be allowed under any condition,” Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.
Inspection procedures for suspect sites has been a major point of disagreement in world powers’ nuclear talks with Iran. The Iranian leadership has consistently said it will not allow outside inspectors into suspect military facilities.