Both of these major issues involving Greece and the Iran nuclear deal are rapidly drawing to a close:
Hours after Iran and major powers extended their talks on a final agreement, an official said talks had to wrap up in the next 48 hours.
The official made clear that the latest extension until Friday would be the last one.
"We've come to the end," the source told Reuters, on condition of anonymity. "We have just made one, final extension. It is hard to see how or why we would go beyond this. Either it happens in the next 48 hours, or not."
Diplomats said a discussion on Monday night between Iran and the major powers became testy over the issue of UN sanctions, which Iran wants scrapped as part of a deal to curb its nuclear program.
"There was no slamming of doors but it was a very heated exchange of views," a senior Western diplomat told reporters, according to Reuters.
The comprehensive deal under discussion is aimed at curbing Tehran's most sensitive nuclear work for a decade or more, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions that have slashed Iran's oil exports and crippled its economy.
Tuesday’s extension marked the fourth time the parties have extended the interim deal struck in November 2013, which gave Iran limited sanctionsrelief in return for its restricting its nuclear program, including halting production of 20 percent enriched uranium.
The latest extension to Friday leaves open the possibility that an agreement will not arrive in time for a deadline set by the U.S. Congress in order to provide an expedited, 30-day review.
That deadline is set for the end of the day on Thursday in Washington.
Regarding inspections, which Iran has refused to allow on sensitive nuclear sites, an adviser to Iran's parliament speaker on international affairs revealed Tuesday that Iran remains belligerent in its defiance of requests to allow inspections of the facilities.
"That we do not allow our military and sensitive sites to be inspected or that we refuse to send our (nuclear) scientists under the knife of interrogation is part of Iran's obvious and inalienable rights," Hossein Sheikholeslam told the Iranian Tasnim News Agency.
Another key sticking point aside from inspections has been Iran's demand that all sanctions be lifted as soon as a deal is reached, and its refusal to disclose the military aspects of its nuclear program.
On Monday, Iran demanded yet another concession in nuclear talks - this time, to end the UN arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Iran's opposition to sanctionsstems on its desire to have free weapons access, noting, "I can tell you that there is only one big problem in terms of sanctions - it is the problem of a weapons embargo."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Iran poses more of a threat to the West than the ultra-radical Islamic State group and that Tehran is planning to “take over the world.”
“Iran’s growing aggression is several times more dangerous than that of IS, which is dangerous enough,” Netanyahu told a memorial ceremony at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, marking 111 years since the death of Theodor Herzl, the visionary forefather of modern Zionism.
“And this aggression, which aims to reach every corner of the world, has the ultimate true aim of taking over the world,” he added.
Although Shiite Iranians and the Sunni Islamic State group have been fighting each other, they share the common goal of destroying Western values, said Netanyahu, who often equates the Islamic State to Iran, as well as to Palestinian militant groups.
“The radical Shiite camp under Iranian leadership on one side, and the Sunni spearhead in the form of the Islamic State group on the other, are applying cruel terror with shocking zeal and carrying out a war to the death among themselves,” he said. “Meanwhile, they are united in their hostility to the West and willingly trample on the achievements of freedom and progress.”
Netanyahu criticized an emerging deal between world powers and Iran over the latter’s controversial nuclear program, which, he argued, caves to too many of the Iranians’ demands. The prime minister has strongly opposed the deal, claiming that not only does it not go far enough toward putting nuclear arms beyond Iran’s reach, but actually aids its quest for such weapons.
It looks like we aren’t going to have to wait much longer to see if Greece remains part of the eurozone or not. Instead of softening their demands in the wake of the Greek referendum, European leaders have given the Greek government an ultimatum. On Tuesday night, EU officials gave Greece a deadline of Thursday to submit a new proposal and a deadline of Sunday for agreeing to a deal.
If a deal is not reached on Sunday, all aid to Greece will be cut off and the nation will be faced with financial oblivion and a forced exit from the common currency.
But Angela Merkel has already made it abundantly clear that any new deal will not include a debt haircut – one of the key things that the Greek government wanted.
If a deal is actually made, it is almost certainly going to look very much like what Greece’s creditors have been offering all along. Needless to say, this is precisely what the Greek people just voted against, but the pressure on Greek leadership is immense at this point. In essence, they are being given “an offer they can’t refuse”. So will the Greek government buckle under this mobster-like intimidation?
First, let’s watch what happens on Wednesday and Thursday. The Greeks are being told that they better submit a “workable proposal” by the end of the day on Thursday or else. The following comes from a BBC report…
The eurozone has given Greece until Thursday to present new proposals to secure a deal with creditors, and has called a full EU summit for Sunday.
European Council President Donald Tusk said this was now the “most critical moment in the history of the eurozone“.
“The final deadline ends this week,” he said after emergency talks in Brussels.
If a proposal that is “workable” is submitted by the end of the day on Thursday, then it will be submitted for consideration to a special summit of all 28 members of the EU on Sunday. If an agreement is not reached by the end of the day on Sunday, then EU officials have said that they are ready to move on to Plan B.
It had been expected that the Greek government would submit something new on Tuesday, but apparently that did not happen. The following comes from the Daily Mail…
European stock markets plunged suddenly into the red this afternoon as the war of words between Greece and its eurozone partners blew up again today and Greek banks watched their cash reserves disappear.
Greek negotiators were accused of arriving at crunch talks without any new proposals as a European Central Bank funding shutdown left the country’s crippled banks with just enough cash to remain solvent for a day or two.
Ahead of a ‘last chance saloon’ summit for Greece to persuade its creditors to resume bailout talks, Greek officials insisted to Reuters news agency that they had submitted new credit proposals to eurozone partners.
But eurozone counterparts denied that they constituted a new plan.
At this point, the two sides cannot even agree on whether a “new plan” was proposed or not.
What hope is there that a comprehensive agreement can be reached within the next couple of days?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel certainly does not sound optimistic…
“We have only a few days left to find a solution,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters late Tuesday after euro-area leaders met in Brussels. She conceded that she is “not especially optimistic.”
Sunday now looms as the climax of a five-year battle to contain Greece’s debts, potentially splintering a currency that was meant to be unbreakable and throwing more than half a century of European economic and political integration into reverse.
“We have a Grexit scenario prepared in detail,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said, using the shorthand for expulsion from the now 19-nation currency area.
If there is no deal, the Greek government will go bankrupt and the Greek banking system will totally collapse.
But it will also mean financial disaster for the rest of Europe as well. In just the past few days, we have gotten to see a small preview of what might be coming as turmoil has erupted in European financial markets.
If there is a “Grexit”, European stocks will crash, European bond yields will go crazy, major banks all over Europe will be shaken, and the euro will drop like a rock.
And there are some that even believe that a “Grexit” could actually be “the beginning of the end” for the common currency.
The EU consider themselves a model for world government, and they don't make a secret of it. As critics like Daniel Hannan keep pointing out, the model of the EU is the Soviet ruling class, which ran the USSR into the ground at the cost of millions of lives.
Like the Soviet Union, the EU claims to be peaceful and democratic, and as with the USSR, those are flagrant lies. The EU controls the media – the BBC is just one infamous example.
When voters have no control over the power class, we see that Soviet-EU-Obama pattern, not very different from a medieval aristocracy. In the EU, the ruling class is constantly bullying its voters, following the Soviet pattern. That is why the climate catastrophe industry has been allowed to run wild, squeezing the taxpayers for wind farms, tidal electricity generators, and bureaucratic imperialism. The Eurosocialist elite is unbelievably greedy and self-serving, using all the tricks of Chicago politics to hang on to power.
The parallels to American socialism (the Democrats) are amazing. Greece is like Detroit, a predictable economic disaster combining endemic corruption with EU efforts to impose its dictates on largely agricultural nations, along the southern rim of Europe. Germany is an industrial power. It sells high value-added products and buys consumer goods, while Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and even Ireland and the Netherlands teeter on the edge of bankruptcy.
The secret of the euro is that it's an ego currency – there is absolutely no economic need for it. Its purpose is to glorify the EU itself, and to impose more and more control. Meanwhile, the euro deprives countries of their ability to set exchange rates, the only way they can be competitive. It’s an imperial power play. Hail Caesar!
To boost the ruling class, the euro had to be imposed on more than 300 million people. The EU wants to run its vassal states by cookie-cutter rules. Everything must be uniform! Eurosocialism cannot tolerate national or local autonomy. It's the Otto von Bismarck model of mechanistic control.
Why is that relevant to boycotting pro-Israel scientists?
Because the European Union is in deep, deep trouble, directly traceable to its own grandiose overreach. Imposing the euro by diktat is only one example. Thirty thousand regulations streaming from Brussels to control life in Ireland and Portugal is another example. Gerrymandering regions to cut across traditional lines is another one. Electing members of the European Parliament who have absolutely no legislative power is a third.
Endemic corruption is yet another glorious achievement – even in countries that used to be models of honesty. A new brand of Euro-imperialism goes along with this, with goose-stepping soldiers singing the choral movement of Beethoven's Ninth, the most bombastic piece of marching music in the Western canon.
Europe needs scapegoats today, precisely because the ruling class makes gargantuan mistakes that it won’t fix. When Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Greece started to keel over, the Germans just dug in their heels. There is no way for the ruling class to change course, because they don’t face elections. It's a one-party Obama-style kakocracy.
The EuroLeft are emotionally invested in hating Israel, in good part because they fear their own radicalized Muslims, people they deliberately imported as a matter of policy. The EU still prohibits its member nations from controlling toxic immigration. Just think about that for a second – because Obama is trying to do the same thing here.
When a regime creates chaos, it also needs scapegoats. Obama loves to hate the moms and pops of the Tea Party, as if they present a clear and present danger to the Republic. But he gives a free pass to the paleo-fascists of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have infiltrated our national security agencies (according to Admiral James "Ace" Lyons). The parallels with corrupt Brussels are amazing.
Like Obama's friends Bill Ayers and the ladies of Code Pink, Europe sponsors agitprop stunts against its favorite scapegoats, including the Mavi Marmaraincident against Israel several years ago. Today, Europe is in cahoots with Obama to give Iran even faster access to nukes – the single most suicidal thing this president could possibly do.
Like the Democrats, the EU controls scientists through the power of the purse, which is why the global warming fraud is still squeezing billions of dollars from the taxpayers. Europe’s Organs of Propaganda lie and cover up unprecedented scandals, most recently the Pakistani "sex grooming gangs" that target English children in Rotherham and London. Pedophile abuse is "normal" in countries like Pakistan, and multiculturalism insists that Western values can't be allowed to prevail. Europe covers up massive Muslim child abuse – “for the children,” of course.
I don't know for sure, but I do know that the European Union has turned into exactly the kind of dysfunctional political system that brought down the Soviet Union. The ruling class is at war with the people, and their answer is to replace the people. They always want more control. Policy decisions are irrational and self-destructive, and if you complain, you become a target for demagogues and race-baiters. The biggest crooks know how to play the system. Visible corruption goes unpunished. Under cover of the media mob, massive fraud and abuse take place, even to the point of pedophile gangs in the ruling class itself.
Yes, I believe that Europe has become that kind of place again.
The EU is facing a split. Greece is the catalyst for a new dynamic of European financial systems. Angela Merkel is tired and exhausted and she can only watch how the European Union is falling apart, DWN wrote.
The summit in Brussels has shown that the EU is not functioning in a proper way. Greece is no longer the problem: the shortcomings are systemic and can’t be resolved by compromises, DWN reported.
According to the newspaper, the EU consists of numerous imperfect institutions which have proved unable to function in times of the crisis. It has become a hostage to the Troika: the ECB, the IMF and the EU Commission which have totally failed.
These institutions committed themselves to a pure austerity policy: increasing taxes and reducing social benefits. Such policy may look well on paper. But in practice it is hard to implement, the newspaper wrote.
Moreover, the EU member states are pursuing different goals: Southern countries want a different Europe, not a Europe of austerity, but of a growth, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said.
Francois Hollande, for his turn, stated that he wants Greece to stay in the Eurozone: a Grexit will give good chances for the oppositional National Front in the new elections and pose a serious challenge to his government.
Germany maintains an opposite point of view. Merkel and Schäuble can’t give up as they have promised German taxpayers that Greece is on the right track. The small states, for their turn, are increasingly becoming Euro-skeptic, with fringe political parties gaining more popularity.
The heads of Brazil, India, China and South Africa will meet under the leadership of Vladimir Putin in Russia’s Ufa for the seventh annual BRICS summit that kicks off today.
This year's BRICS meeting is as important as ever. The summit carries more of a political meaning to it, rather than purely economic, as all participants recognize that both political and economic power is currently shifting away from the West, the United States in particular, towards other parts of the world, French Le Monde reported.
The Russian President plans to use the summit to further increase Russia's political influence in the world. Meanwhile, China is also up for an important task — to strengthen the BRICS' political connections and establish itself as the world's second largest economy, Le Monde said.
The 2015 summit will be marked by the launch of the New Development Bank (NDB). The agreement on the creation of the NDB was signed on July 15, 2014, at the 2014 BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil. The NDB is seen as an alternative to Western banking systems and is intended to support infrastructure projects in the developing countries.
The BRICS members established a $100-billion liquidity reserve to maintain the bank's financial stability. China made the biggest contribution — $41 billion, India, Brazil and Russia are expected to dish out $18 billion each, while South Africa will give $5 billion.
Russia, currently holding the annual presidency in BRICS, attaches great importance to the development of interaction with BRICS member states and considers these relationships a foreign policy priority.
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