Russia is preparing a surprise proposal of its own to put on the table in Baghdad at the resumed P5+1 powers nuclear negotiations with Iran Wednesday, May 23, debkafile reports exclusively from its intelligence and Moscow sources. By tabling an independent plan, Moscow would break ranks with the “unified front on Iran” declared by US President Barack Obama at the G8 summit Saturday and enhance Iran’s bargaining position.
Israel would be the loser.
Israel’s defense minister Ehud Barak and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon warned the Six Powers early Wednesday against blinking first. Already their demands of Iran fall far below the minimum requisites for reining in Tehran’s nuclear bomb program, they said. So long as uranium enrichment is not discontinued, stocks exported and the Fordo plant remains open, Israel must keep all its options on the table and reserve the right to make its own decisions.
“We know exactly what deals are brewing,” Barak said. Our demands are clear to everyone: The Iranians are master chess players and if they come away from the negotiations without tighter sanctions and with a license to enrich uranium, they will get what they want, a nuclear weapon. “At the end of the diplomatic process, it will be up to us to make decisions.”
debkafile quotes Western intelligence sources as denying knowledge of any deal for expanded inspections of suspect nuclear sites struck by Yukiya Amano, head of the UN nuclear agency (IAEA), during his two days of talks in Tehran Sunday and Monday, May 20-21. Amano himself admitted that while the deal “would be signed soon,” he could not say “how soon.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney was also cagey: While a deal between Tehran and the IAEA is a step in the right direction, he said, Washington will judge Tehran by its actions – not declarations. “Promises are one thing, actions to meet commitments, another.”
US and Western officials have said that Iran must resolve concerns about its nuclear program – or else punishing oil and financial sanctions will continue, including the European Union’s oil embargo from July 1, whereas in private talks with Iran, our sources report that Washington has relented on low-grade uranium enrichment.
Tehran claims the world, including the US, has accepted its right to enrich uranium “for peaceful purposes,” although Washington officially disputes this. However, Sunday, the day the IAEA director arrived in Tehran, Iran’s Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi is widely quoted by Israeli leaders as saying that "Iran is committed to the complete destruction of Israel" – a goal the realization of which calls for a nuclear capacity.