Thursday, May 14, 2015

  • Thursday, May 14, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
Going back again to Joe Biden's speech at the Washington Institute, where he defended the Obama administration's negotiations, he stated:

The second argument I hear is that no deal is worth the paper it’s written on, because Iran will simply cheat. And it’s true that Iran could try to cheat, whether there’s a deal or not. Now they didn’t cheat under the interim deal -— the Joint Plan of Action -— as many were certain they would. But they certainly have in the past and it would not surprise anyone if they tried again.
Sorry, Joe:
The Czech Republic blocked an attempted purchase by Iran this year of a large shipment of sensitive technology useable for nuclear enrichment after false documentation raised suspicions, U.N. experts and Western sources said.

Some details of the attempted purchase were described in the latest annual report of an expert panel for the United Nations Security Council's Iran sanctions committee, which has been seen by Reuters.

The panel said that in January Iran attempted to buy compressors - which have nuclear and non-nuclear applications - made by the U.S.-owned company Howden CKD Compressors.

A Czech state official and a Western diplomat familiar with the case confirmed to Reuters that Iran had attempted to buy the shipment from Howden CKD in the Czech Republic, and that Czech authorities had acted to block the deal.

The U.N. panel, which monitors compliance with the U.N. sanctions regime, said there had been a "false end user" stated for the order.

"The procurer and transport company involved in the deal had provided false documentation in order to hide the origins, movement and destination of the consignment with the intention of bypassing export controls and sanctions," it added.

The report offered no further details about the attempted transaction. Iran's U.N. mission did not respond to a query about the report.
How many cheats weren't noticed?

And how come the UN itself - the specific committee that is charged with enforcing the sanctions -  didn't publicize this report, and it had to be leaked to the media?

That is in many ways more troubling than the cheating attempt itself.


Also, the "snapback sanctions" idea is pretty much dead.

Biden said:
And there will be a clear procedure in the final deal that allows both the U.N. and unilateral sanctions to snap back without needing to cajole lots of other countries -– including Russia or China –- to support it. That will be written in the final deal.
Uh, not really:
The Obama administration is trying to sell a nuclear deal with Iran to skeptical Arabs, Israelis and U.S. lawmakers by saying that United Nations sanctions will be restored automatically if the Iranians are caught cheating.

Not so, say the Russians, who have one of five vetoes in the 15-member UN Security Council.

There can be no automaticity, none whatsoever” in reimposing UN sanctions if Iran violates the terms of an agreement to curb its nuclear program, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told Bloomberg News on Wednesday. He didn’t elaborate.

While the Obama administration maintains that Russia agreed “in principle” to the need for a sanctions “snapback” mechanism if Iran fails to comply with the agreement now being negotiated in final form, the Russian government has offered no corroboration.

Instead, President Vladimir Putin on April 13 lifted a ban on exporting missile defense systems to Tehran, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said lifting all the sanctions against Iran is good business for Russia.
Now there is very little incentive to stop Iran from cheating, which is the entire point of the nuclear agreement.

And don't assume even American sanctions would "snap back" immediately upon evidence of Iranian cheating. For example, the Czech discovery of the illicit compressor deal isn't 100% clear-cut for those who prefer blindness. The compressors have non-military use, after all. Just because they were imported using dummy companies and false paperwork isn't proof that they were meant for nuclear purposes, it is just a string indicator of cheating. How would the Obama administration react to cheating like that which can be rationalized away?

Iran knows the answer, and deep down, so does everyone else.

(h/t Yenta, Omri)

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