Analysts blast proposed deal on Iran centrifuge "plumbing" after White House reported as "open" to agreement


The New York Times revealed this weekend that the United States was "open" to an agreement with Iran that would allow the Islamic Republic to unplug the "plumbing" on its uranium enrichment infrastructure in exchange for wide-ranging sanctions relief, functionally reversing what had long been the West's insistence that the Iranians dismantle that infrastructure. The deal is thought to be attractive to Western negotiators because it would allow the Iranians to claim that they hadn't dismantled anything, a move that top officials had long emphasized they had not made and would not ever commit to. It was blasted by analysts for among other things reversing explicit assurances from the Obama administration - made at the beginning of the year to lawmakers, journalists, and the public - that Iran would in fact have to dismantle significant amounts of its infrastructure. Veteran journalist Jeffrey Goldberg had written at the time that it was difficult to envision "how Obama could possibly accept a deal that mothballs centrifuges while leaving them in place, rather than devising an agreement that guarantees their destruction," inasmuch as such a scenario would allow the Iranians "to very quickly start spinning them again... [and] enrich uranium to weapons-grade level in a short enough period that the West... has insufficient time to respond." Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described the dynamic as one in which Washington's "nuclear negotiating team... is either directly or through its surrogates offering compromise positions in the hope that, by accommodating the Supreme Leader’s redlines, they can find some technical solution." He criticized the policy as one that "only rewards the Leader’s intransigence and makes it increasingly likely that, if there is a comprehensive deal, it will be a bad deal."


Dr. Kamal Al-Labwani, considered one of the most prominent members of the Syrian opposition movement, was in Israel recently to visit the Syrian casualties hospitalized in the Ziv Medical Center near Safed (Tsfat). A Syrian doctor and artist, sometimes called “the Syrian Nelson Mandela,” Al-Labwani came to Israel to thank the medical teams. “I am filled with appreciation for the devoted medical care that the Ziv Medical Center is providing for the Syrian casualties, people from my nation, who have been injured in the war. This is a touching humanitarian gesture and an opportunity to bridge between the nations and a hope for peace in more quiet times,” he said. “I came to the Ziv Medical Center to thank the hospital for treating hundreds of men, women and children, who have received the highest quality treatment, and emotional support following the difficult events they have experienced during the war in Syria. This treatment is not only for the wounded children and women, it is for the entire Syrian people, this is how we feel and everyone knows this and is talking about it. In Syria, Bashar Al- Assad claims that the Israelis are the enemies, and, here, at the hospital we see who the real Israel is. I ask: who is really the enemy?’” Al-Labwani also met leading figures in the Israeli government during his visit. He was joined on his visit by Moti Kahana, an Israeli-American businessman, who has been involved in humanitarian activities for the victims of the civil war in Syria and in the efforts to assist the Jews still remaining in Syria to leave the country. Hospitals throughout Israel have treated hundreds of Syrians wounded in their civil war. (via Israel21c)

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