Waiting for James Taylor

Those who are doing their best to sell us out to Iran with another wrap on the JCPOA have given up for the time being. The AFP/Times of Israel story puts it this way: “Europe: ‘Serious doubts’ Iran wants nuke deal; program ‘way beyond’ civilian purpose.” The subhead cites a joint statement saying that France, Germany and the United Kingdom have reached the “limit of flexibility” while Tehran escalates its nuclear program “way beyond any plausible civilian justification.” The statement is published in a press release here. This is the text:

We the governments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom have negotiated with Iran, in good faith, since April 2021 to restore and fully implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), along with other participants to the deal and the United States. In early August, after a year and a half of negotiations, the JCPoA Coordinator submitted a final set of texts which would allow for an Iranian return to compliance with its JCPoA commitments and a US return to the deal.

In this final package, the Coordinator made additional changes that took us to the limit of our flexibility. Unfortunately, Iran has chosen not to seize this critical diplomatic opportunity. Instead, Iran continues to escalate its nuclear program way beyond any plausible civilian justification.

While we were edging closer to an agreement, Iran reopened separate issues that relate to its legally binding international obligations under the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and its NPT safeguards agreement concluded with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This latest demand raises serious doubts as to Iran’s intentions and commitment to a successful outcome on the JCPoA. Iran’s position contradicts its legally binding obligations and jeopardizes prospects of restoring the JCPoA.

In June, the IAEA Board of Governors’ adopted, by an overwhelming majority, a resolution calling on Iran to take urgent action to answer the Agency’s outstanding questions. Three months later Iran has taken no steps at all as confirmed by the IAEA Director General’s latest report.

Our position remains clear and steadfast. Iran must fully and, without delay, cooperate in good faith with the IAEA. It is up to Iran to provide technically credible answers to the IAEA’s questions on the whereabouts of all nuclear material on its territory. The JCPoA can in no way be used to release Iran from legally binding obligations that are essential to the global non-proliferation Regime.

Given Iran’s failure to conclude the deal on the table we will consult, alongside international partners, on how best to address Iran’s continued nuclear escalation and lack of cooperation with the IAEA regarding its NPT safeguards Agreement.

They don’t have a clue. In a related story, Jonathan Tirone and Iain Marlow give us the American angle in the Bloomberg story “Blinken Says Revival of Iran Nuclear Deal ‘Unlikely’ for Now.” Blinken is leaving his options open. “For now” is not forever. In his world, someday always comes.

When it does, the White House will want to throw another party featuring James Taylor. Taylor will take a deep dive into his catalog for the occasion. He’ll sing a collection of oldies including “Brighten Your Night With My Day,” “Sunshine Sunshine,” and “The Blues Is Just a Bad Dream.” For an encore he’ll perform “Steamroller” with a moving dedication to the mullahs.

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