The deeper we get into this evolving story, the more we may be seeing alignment with biblical prophecy. This entire episode has managed to make Israel even more isolated, as we knew would happen eventually. Perhaps more importantly though, it seems to serve as a backdrop which may force Israel's hand in taking desperate military action to take out the nuclear facilities in Iran. If they are forced to take such action, the powder-keg in the Middle East will be officially ignited.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday excoriated world powers over their dogged pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran, pointing to recent statements by officials in Tehran — notably their calls to eliminate Israel — as evidence of the Islamic Republic’s unwillingness to compromise and seek peace in the region.
In tones of moral outrage, he protested the continuation of the talks, even as Iran has reiterated its insistent goal of destroying the Jewish state.
“Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared, and I quote, ‘Israel’s destruction is nonnegotiable,'” Netanyahu said, referring to a statement by Mohammad Reza Naqd, the commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
“But evidently, giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to the bomb isnegotiable,” he said. “This is unconscionable.”
Netanyahu’s comments came as diplomats from Iran and a group of six world powers resumed negotiations over the terms of a nuclear deal, hours after a deadline for such a deal elapsed.
He charged that Iran’s actions and ongoing “aggression” across the Middle East proved it did not intend to give up its nuclear and regional ambitions.
“I agree with those who have said that Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges, and a heavy water reactor,” he said. “Nor does it square with Iran’s insistence on developing ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles], and its refusal to come clean with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past weaponization efforts.
“At the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen,” he continued.
The prime minister claimed that “the concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world,” and called on the international community “to insist on a better deal… which would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure” and “link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”
He called on world powers to ensure that Iran “stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world, and stop its threats to annihilate Israel.”
“That should be nonnegotiable. And that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon,” he concluded.
The negotiators resumed talks in the Swiss resort town of Lausanne Wednesday, just hours after abandoning a March 31 deadline to reach the outline of a deal and agreeing to press on. However, as the discussions dragged on, three of the six foreign ministers involved left the talks, and prospects for agreement remained uncertain.
Claiming enough progress had been made to warrant an extension after six days of intense bartering, and eager to avoid a collapse in the discussions, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his British and German counterparts huddled in Lausanne to continue a marathon effort to bridge still significant gaps and hammer out details of a framework accord.
The foreign ministers of China, France and Russia all departed Lausanne overnight, although the significance of their absence, particularly when the broader group meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, was not clear.
Asked how high the chances of success were, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “I cannot say.” And British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Iran might still not be ready to accept what is on the table.
Officials say their intention is to produce a joint statement outlining general political commitments to resolving concerns about Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, and their intention to begin a new phase of negotiations to get to that point. In addition, they are trying to fashion other documents that would lay out in more detail the steps they must take by June 30 to meet those goals.
The additional documents would allow the sides to make the case that the next round of talks will not simply be a continuation of negotiations that have already been twice extended since an interim agreement between Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany was concluded in November 2013. President Barack Obama and other leaders, including Iran’s, have said they are not interested in a third extension.
Mixed messages on the Iranian nuclear negotiations were emerging from Lausanne, Switzerland Wednesday, where talks between high-ranking international and Iranian diplomats — working through a midnight deadline to reach a political framework for a deal — were adjourned.
Russia and Iran’s foreign ministers claimed in the early hours of Wednesday a breakthrough in talks, but the US said not all issues had been agreed upon.
“One can say with relative certainty that we at the minister level have reached an agreement in principle on all key aspects of the final settlement of this issue,” Russian media quoted Sergey Lavrov as saying at talks in Switzerland.
This came after Russia’s top diplomat and the foreign ministers of five other major powers and Iran missed a midnight (2200 GMT) deadline to agree the main outlines of what they hope will be an historic accord but continued working through the night.
The powers hope this final agreement, due to be finalized by June 30, will see Iran scale down its nuclear program in order to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian program.
The stakes are high, with fears that failure to reach a deal may set the United States and Israel on a road to military action to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive, which Tehran says is purely peaceful.
The “agreement in principle… will be put on paper in the coming hours or perhaps within one day,” Lavrov said, quoted by Ria Novosti after a lengthy day of talks in Lausanne.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he hoped to complete later on Wednesday the framework nuclear agreement, allowing the process of drafting a final accord by the June 30 deadline to begin.
“We have accomplished quite a bit but people needed to get some rest and start over early in the morning. I hope that we can finalize the work on Wednesday and hopefully start the process of drafting (a final accord)”, Zarif told reporters.
A senior US official however said there was not yet full agreement on key points of the framework accord.
“All issues have not been agreed,” a senior US official told AFP.
As Iran nuclear talks reached a deadline that was blithely extended by the US on Tuesday, an investigative media report indicates that one of US President Barack Obama's top Iran advisers may have worked for a pro-Iranian regime lobbying group in the recent past.
The White House released a list of the top National Security Council (NSC) officials who held a video conference with Obama late Tuesday to update him on the talks with Iran in Switzerland's Lausanne.
On the list, which was published by The Daily Beast, the name Sahar Nowrouzzadeh stands out alongside the title "NSC Director for Iran."
A picture of Nowrouzzadeh with US Secretary of State John Kerry, in which she is seen explaining Iranian traditions, was posted on March 20 to the Twitter account of US Envoy for the anti-Islamic State (ISIS) coalition Brett McGurk.
Breitbart News media site decided to take a closer look at Nowrouzzadeh, and in an investigative exposé found that she appears to have previously worked for the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC), an organization that is accused of lobbying for the Iranian regime.
The site documented how a person with the same name was credited with authoring a number of publications for NIAC.
The connection to NIAC is particularly troubling given that the group has been accused of being a mouthpiece for Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
NIAC paid $200,000 to put out a full-page ad in the New York Times attacking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of his Congress address warning against the Iran nuclear deal.
Jailed Iranian dissident Amir Fakhravar told American Thinker last month that regarding NIAC, "you cannot find any difference between their statements and the Iranian regime’s statements. Either officially or unofficially, they are following the path of the regime.”
John Kerry On Iran Deal: 'If Allah Wills It'
When asked about an Iran deal, Secretary of State John Kerry, says: "Inshallah" (Translated as "If Allah wills it") in Arabic.
It's not every day that the United States Secretary of State invokes the Islamic deity, but as reported, that's just what John Kerry did. As reported by the Western Journalism news portal on March 30, 2015, Secretary Kerry gave the
one word response in Arabic when asked the chances are for a deal with Iran.
As sent via her micro-blogging site on Twitter, Voice of America reporter Negar Mortazavi cited that when John Kerry was asked on the fly in the streets of Lausanne, Switzerland what the chances were of an agreement being reached in regard to the talks between a number of world powers and Iran, Kerry responded with a simple "Inshallah," which is Arabic for "If Allah wills it." Secretary Kerry has taken fire from American conservatives for what they perceive as Kerry being more than willing to broker a weak deal with Tehran.
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